At Tremont teachers design integrated thematic units of study built on compelling essential questions and the Tremont Learning Objectives, derived from the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and Common Core as starting points. We believe that an integrated curriculum is essential to situating the necessary academic skills in a real life context. These interdisciplinary units vary in length–from six to ten weeks–and are concluded with a Celebration of Learning where students have an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned to parents, peers, and the extended community.
The daily schedule is organized into interdisciplinary learning contract blocks. These blocks provide extended time for learning using a flexible schedule that allows for depth of study and differentiated instruction, and opportunities to incorporate student’s natural strengths, motivations, and needs for support. The contract blocks are the periods of time in which students are working on assignments related to humanities, math, science, technology, and specialized unit work. Woven throughout the week are opportunities for individual and group project work and explorations. Student projects connect their academic, social and emotional learning to the world outside of school. As students get older, their vision and knowledge of the world expands. Tremont responds to this by expanding the scope of educational possibilities. Rather than just toiling away in a classroom learning about plant biology, we send our students to a farm to learn first hand.
Additional programs include foreign language, P.E., and an expansive arts program we call Expressions. Part of our curriculum involves expeditionary learning opportunities throughout the year such as tracking water samples at a local pond, designing and building a bridge to hold a classmate, or writing letters and sharing quotes of encouragement for a patient facing life-altering medical issues. Our Visiting Scholars program brings in experts on a variety of subjects for an in-depth discussion of local and national issues built around the current unit’s theme.
Because we feel strongly that in order for kids to be active learners they need to be active, we have scheduled movement and recess blocks each day, along with physical education each week. Overall, the school day is paced to provide ample opportunity for students to move, explore, conduct experiments, build, and work on projects in an exciting and engaging environment.