Sparhawk students wearing glasses and smiling in a photo booth.

At Sparhawk, we believe that children learn to their highest potential within an environment where they feel honored and respected both by their teachers and by their peers. Our philosophy is built on truly knowing each student well. Teachers are committed to seeing the uniqueness in each child, individualizing our program so as to promote positive self worth as well as an integrated community. We are keenly aware of the inter-dynamics between children and, from this vantage point, we work with them to develop the tools to be reflective and engaged in positive behavior and productive reconciliations. This is one of the many ways that we support students in finding their voice.

Much of prosocial learning in the elementary years comes through trial and error. Mistakes made, solutions found and trying anew. Our teachers foster an environment where they can respond as needed, asking students open- ended questions that lead to individualized social learning. By doing so and by offering support to all parties, your child can begin to map out the best modes for including others, managing through conflict with respect and even offering support to peers when others encounter social difficulties.

Sparhawk students baking bread.

As a school community, we are additionally ever conscious of how we as adults can best model and support your child in knowing themselves. An individual who is aware of self, personality, temperament, learning style, strengths and challenges, can better manage the emotional and social realms as well as be an empowered self-advocate for social and academic growth. In addition to the responsive agenda embedded in all that we do, at Sparhawk, we teach social pragmatics through curriculum designed to foster prosocial behavior through literature, role play, games, discussions and case studies. As a learning community we also practice mindfulness as a tool to slow down and heighten awareness.

If supported and deeply respected from the earliest years of education, children can develop the mindset and tools to imagine larger social dilemmas and issues in the world around us. If, for example, young children learn what it means to become an upstander rather than a bystander on the playground, then the ability to be an advocate for respect and justice for all continues to develop as they mature. Children are the future we seek to create and therefore what could be more important than teaching children to be good humans. This is the foundation of all that we do at Sparhawk.