Atrium School

Excellence with Joy

We believe that...

School should be a joyful place.

It is only in an environment in which a child feels safe to take risks–academic, social, and emotional–that real learning can take place. Whether in elementary or middle school, each of our classrooms make it a priority to establish and maintain an environment of safety and respect, where each student’s voice is heard and valued. 

Self-knowledge and being known–both as an individual learner and as a member of a group–is where self-confidence takes root and where authentic and deep engagement in learning take place.  We limit the size of our private school and the student-teacher ratio in our classrooms to support this environment for our students. 

Compassion and empathy need to be nurtured.  A “social curriculum” doesn’t come in a binder. By noticing details, moments, and effort we cultivate a culture of caring. Our community is dedicated to this effort, and it is the daily work of our teachers to be agents of “noticing” and to support and guide children’s interactions. 

A child’s early educational experiences are formative. Children construct their sense of themselves as learners and as social beings early on, establishing the basis of how they will engage with learning–and life–in the years ahead. We believe in the value of this type of work taking place in an environment of caring, respect, and with regard to each child’s various, distinct, and individual gifts. 

Knowledge, insight, understanding and joy can be expressed in many different ways. We not only encourage the voices of multiple strategies in problem solving, but also support and help develop in each child various methods of self expression, whether it be through words, construction, music, visual arts, or movement–from writing poetry to building prototypes, from multimedia art projects to composing music.

When children don’t have to worry about always getting right answers, they are free to follow their curiosity, indulge in creative thought, gain an appreciation for multiple strategies, and develop higher level thinking. How a student arrives at an answer is just as important as the answer itself. 

Learning is a social activity. Relationships with teachers, mentors, peers, and other children– both older and younger–is a critical part of education and helps children to develop both empathy and a capacity for meaningful collaborative work. We proactively make these connections and nurture these relationships.

Education is a partnership between a school and a family, and time with family and friends is as important as homework.

A sense of identity is best formed in the context of diversity, whether it be found in the colors of our skin, the languages we speak, the gender and ages we are, the traditions we observe, the structures of our families, or the types of intellectual gifts, perspectives, and passions we have. We strive to create and maintain a varied and vibrant community. 

A commitment to sustainability is a mindset and is evidenced in the way we make choices, from what we eat and how we think about others, as much as simply recycling and conserving energy. As a community, we are committed to engaging in these questions, conversations, and opportunities. 

At Atrium, we value the ability to synthesize information, question deeply, apply factual knowledge
in creative ways, take multiple perspectives, and work constructively with others. In a world that increasingly requires flexibility and adaptation, our classrooms are a daily exercise in these skills.