Multi-Age Classes

At Spruce Street School students of diverse ages and skills interact to master developmentally appropriate practices at their own pace in small, flexible groups. Our multi-age classrooms usually span three age groups. Children experience an even broader multi-age community through All School Meetings, Electives, Arts Week, and Buddies.

The research-supported assumptions for multi-age classes are:

  • Children are inquisitive.
  • Each child has unique strengths and challenges.
  • Each child develops physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially at different rates.
  • Diverse age and skills in a community are established as the norm for children.
  • Children at different stages in development are able to work well together.
  • Learning is interactive, social, dynamic, and complex.
  • Learning involves knowledge, skills, dispositions, and feelings.
  • Learning progresses at individualized rates along a continuum of competency.
  • Children benefit through cooperative learning and cross-age tutoring.
  • Everyone is a learner and a teacher.
  • Student attitudes in multi-age classes tend to be more positive than in graded schools.
  • Teachers know a child well and provide continuity by working together for multiple years.
  • Teachers collaborate to improve chances for each child to be successful.