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.