We absolutely love everything about Sparhawk from the creativity, school environment, kindness, and the most importantly ... the education! Each teacher is invested and fully supports the mission. Our children are thriving here and we could not be happier.
Melissa Hall, Parent
Early Elementary at Sparhawk
The early childhood years are particularly unique as a child’s rate of growth and development are the most accelerated they will ever be; how and where your child spends these years is vitally important for laying the foundation for a strong future. By being part of the Sparhawk early childhood community, your child’s gateway to a life of learning is based on our belief in their inherent wisdom, curiosity and desire to learn.
Growing Humans One Authentic Experience at a Time
We honor children, the way they think, the way they move in the world, the way they interrelate and interconnect with all around them. We believe deeply in each child’s ability to be curious, innovative and caring and from the moment they enter our loving and dynamic community, we endeavor to know them well while supporting them in being their best selves.
The early childhood program at Sparhawk offers the best of all worlds; a low child to teacher ratio offering individualized attention, a beautiful building and classrooms designed to suit young learners and a place within a larger school community. While our youngest children enjoy their own space, they reap the benefits of being part of a larger campus where they are mentored by older children who model positive social and academic development and who share with them the joys of being part of a close knit community. It does indeed, “Take a Village” to raise, “Good Humans” and Sparhawk provides a loving, nurturing and safe place for your child to branch from home to school each day. We put each child feeling safe and loved at the top of our priorities. We recognize that transitions can sometimes be uneasy, yet are developmentally typical during these tender years; our teachers are attentive stewards of the home to school bridge and they do so with tenderness and care. Whatever the level of nurturing your child may need to acclimate and feel safe in her new environment, our loving and warm staff provides. We foster this level of caring in our students as well, and embracing and soothing their peers in need becomes second nature to even our youngest. Supported by the team of teachers, peers and parents working together to create a loving community, children quickly develop the trust and comfort in their daily home away from home and become confident within the broader environment of PreK-5 learners.
Sparhawk’s early childhood program offers a vast array of open-ended experiences: exploring, building, engineering, experimenting and investigating with various materials, creating art, making music and engaging in drama to name some. The connection to the outdoors is extremely important to us and being nature based is an integral part of who we are and what we believe, from exploring our 11 acres, to bringing the natural world into the classroom. Children also have a large playground with structures and opportunities to swing, climb, play in the sand and run.
Our progressive program is both academic and play-based and our teachers are well versed and trained in integrating the fundamentals of early reading, writing and mathematical concepts within a hands-on, real world, play-based program. Through play, children follow their innate curiosities; they explore and experiment with what they find around in the natural world and with materials made available to them. This tapestry of learning opportunities ignites deep interest and engagement for the mind, body and social-emotional well-being of each child and is the natural precursor to more sophisticated and orchestrated progressive, project-based learning. These underpinnings are what makes a Sparhawk early childhood education not only unique, but also a pathway to a multi-year school experience that will support your child with the development of self-awareness and competence to thrive with vitality, confidence and capacity in their lives within the 21st century.
The year from three to four is one of tremendous growth and change, as children embark on the transition from toddlerhood to early childhood. With their expanding language abilities, they are brimming with questions and insatiable curiosity and engage in more complex play and social relationships. This rich play of three year olds is recognized as children’s “work” and is respected as a medium through which children learn.
While the development of pre-academic abilities and skills is a component of the program, emphasis is given to the development of habits: work habits (responsibility, organization, tenacity, striving to do your best) and habits of being a good human (conflict resolution strategies, manners, caring for our environment). Another emphasis is the development of a social consciousness, with many aspects of the curriculum contributing to the creation of a kind community. Students begin to ingrain a sense of self in relation to others and the world through activities like community time, reading buddies, community service & mindfulness.
Our environment buzzes with focused engagement as children discuss, create and learn together. Our kindergarteners begin to use their awareness of the world and expanded language abilities to have meaningful conversations and create increasingly complex representations of their ideas. Their growing attention span and ability to collaborate can lead to exciting investigations and projects that can extend over a period of time. Our students develop a deep understanding of themselves and others, which allows them to explore essential aspects of identity, character, friendships and citizenship.
Our students are given the freedom to make many of their own choices and learn, early on, that with freedom comes responsibility. We encourage thoughtful, intentional risks and expect children to behave responsibly toward others and their environment.
My son went from merely existing in his previous school to actively participating in a thinking, expressive culture. I am so proud as i watch the transformation of my son.
Gail Hedberg, Parent
What can I say? A school after my own heart! Where children laugh, learn, and play! Where children learn about community, world citizenship, and the art of being human!
Anya Arsevan, parent
Awesome learning environment for my 5th grader! He went from a large school with some bullying issues to this small, loving community where learning is much more of an exploration and experience than fitting round pegs into round holes and checking off basic rote milestones of the industrial/educational model. He went from saying he hated school to saying he likes school. That's huge!
-Sam Kimball, parent
Regarding the difference between test-driven schools and Sparhawk:
If a test is the only thing you have to do, you don't need a teacher, you just need a book.
~ Junxi (Jimmy) WEI, Student
I cant thank everyone enough for what they have done for me and taught me. I've learned a lot about respect, hard work, acceptance, and to never judge a book by its cover. Sounds cheesy but honestly I have taken that lesson away from this experience. The teachers here are AMAZING and they go above and beyond every day to help us. The students have all become like a family and every single person has something special about them that I have learned to appreciate. They are SO kind and they never hesitate to give back and help other people.
-Emily Smith, student
Today was my last day at Sparhawk High School. I could honestly go on and on about this school for hours, but I'll try to keep it short. This community has done so much for me, and everyone there. I started at Sparhawk in 8th grade, and since then have made countless memories and friends. I have met some of the most kind, welcoming, intelligent, thoughtful, talented, loving, accepting, honest, creative, BEAUTIFUL people here and I am so glad to have had them in my life.
-Emily Smith, student
Here’s what I love about Sparhawk. You embrace the impossible, the unexpected, the imperfect. You have the heart, the vision and the courage to put on a large cast musical when the student population isn’t much bigger than the cast size. You give every kid who wants a chance to experience drama and music the opportunity. Not just the kids with perfect pitch or perfect diction, not just the physically beautiful or physically fit, not just the kids who easily memorize lines or have natural grace. Instead of seeing the same faces over and over, I see new faces all the time.
- Deidre Girard, Parent of two graduates
I have two at Sparhawk, 4th and 6th grade. I moved here for the school (from Melrose), and it's the best decision I have ever made. I can't say enough great things. It's a special community, a magical place to learn. The art program is stellar, the music program-Amazing, Mandarin-Awesome! The teachers are fantastic, every single one of them. In addition to the kids making some incredible friendships, I have found wonderful new friends with other Sparhawk parents.
DeeDee Kearney, Parent
My son went to Middle School and High School at Sparhawk. It was the best decision our family ever made. He got a stellar education , developed real leadership skills, and made so many friends who will be friends for life.
Bonnie Brady, Parent
My daughter loves Sparhawk School, so I never have to worry about her missing school for any other reason than honestly needing to take time off. Thank you to you and all of Sparhawk for creating an environment that is so desirable.
-Kitten Panthera, Parent
I'm so happy you all help him keep the connection by being so welcoming. Sparhawk will always be a part of him we were fortunate that he was able to learn from all of you. My son is doing very well and I seriously think it has so much to do with how he was taught at Sparhawk. Keep up the good work it means more than you think.-Pam Koen, Parent
I think the teacher did a great job on enlightening the class on the subject rather than guide the class to a absolute answer. And that is the goal of the class, In my perspective what education should do is always enlighten people, ask questions and to make people think.
It is an environment that is truly focused on the individual child ,where a global respect and commitment to community is emphasized.
- Deidre Girard. Parent