Mission, Vision, and Values

Our Mission

To offer our community a creative and collaborative educational alternative that cultivates authentic, balanced critical thinkers who are prepared for a life of learning and community engagement.

Our Core Values

  1. Experience Creativity and Authenticity
  2. Build a Community of Curiosity
  3. Seek Balance through Collaboration
  4. Discover the Joy of Learning
  5. Become Respectful Leaders through Service

Our Approach

AHB students experience hands-on, meaningful and interdisciplinary project-based instruction in reading, writing, science, social studies, and mathematics. Our small, mixed-age class sizes and low student-teacher ratios provide the opportunity for increased interaction between teachers and students. This allows teachers to better meet a range of academic needs and to facilitate in-depth, interactive learning.

AHB follows established academic objectives in math, language arts, and social-emotional learning. Our teachers and students work together to create projects that require the use of specific academic skills. We weave relevant skills and content throughout our interdisciplinary projects to provide our students with hands-on and authentic learning.

Our approach is:

  • Student-Centered: Our students are at the core of our school. We support their natural interests, giving them a sense of self-determination and helping them find fun and surprising ways to interact with their academics.
  • Inquiry Based: AHB students help drive conversations and explorations in the classroom and the community. Their innate curiosity and wonder helps each class explore a topic from multiple points of view.
  • Project Driven: We offer an integrated curriculum, which allows students to demonstrate mastery through short-term and long-term projects rather than solely focusing on skill-building activities and worksheets.
  • Service & Justice Oriented: An AHB education teaches service to others, justice for all, and a commitment to the universal respect for the entire human race.
  • Community Based: By making personal connections within our community, we provide our students with a rich tapestry of opportunities and challenges, all of which affirm that education is a lifelong process.
  • Democratic: Students, parents, teachers, administrators, and other community members are invited regularly to engage in positive, solution-oriented collaborations. We foster an invested, responsive, and authentic experience for all of our stakeholders.
  • Autonomous: Our students and families navigate our world with resiliency and a sense of adventure.  We promote autonomy for our students, allowing them to explore our world in ways that are developmentally appropriate.
  • Balanced: Our community works toward a tenable balance between family and school. We offer our families scheduling options so they can structure their lives in a way that works best for them.
  • Diverse: We strive to cultivate an open and accepting community in the classroom, through our recruiting and hiring practices, and in how we attempt to live our lives as learners and educators. We admit students and families of any race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or gender expression.

An Example of Project-Based Learning

Teams of Gamma & Delta students created model roller coasters that were submitted to a Six Flags contest. This project required students to learn about force, motion, gravity, measurement, and other physical and mathematical concepts. The students then created brochures for their roller coasters, developing additional skills in persuasive writing, formatting, and graphic art. In order to show their work at a school-wide portfolio presentation event (“Portfolios on Parade”), they had to work on their oral presentation skills and prepare to receive live feedback.

When students engage in project-driven experiences like this, they more readily pick up new knowledge and skills, and are able to integrate and apply widely varied concepts into the context of the overall work. Students obtain true understanding of academic concepts while practicing social and executive function skills such as teamwork, conflict negotiation, and project planning.

Many academic and social/emotional skills and standards are met through these integrated projects, but our approach acknowledges that not all things will fit into a given project or be the right way for a given student to best understand a concept. Teachers provide more intensive and specific skills work as needed.