The connection between learning done in the classroom and learning done outside of the school day is a key aspect of each student’s educational experience at AHB. We consider each child’s education a partnership between the child, parent and teacher.
Projects and Practice
Our collaborative learning model mean that teachers rely on parents to support and reinforce their student’s learning at home. Given our condensed weekly schedule, projects and practice (i.e. “homework”) is an essential component of student progress at AHB.
Teachers send home weekly work packets that we call “P & P”. It stands for Projects and Practice. Over the course of the week in their time at home, students will be asked to do daily skills practice, such as playing a math game to learn math facts or reading aloud to develop fluency. Additionally, there may be project work that taps into the child’s creativity and critical thinking. Often these projects are multi-week affairs scaffolded by the teacher. For example, one weekend a student might research the homes of an indigenous American tribe; the next weekend they might build a model of the home, and the last weekend they might write a poem about someone living there. Completed projects are then returned to school and shared, so students can learn from one another’s work.
Because of the shorter amount of time in school, Projects and Practice are important to each student’s success. Parents must commit to ensuring that their child is completing Projects and Practice and that their work is on-time, neat, complete, and representative of appropriate effort.
With a part-time school schedule, many of our students pursue extra-curricular interests in the evenings or on off-days. Some of our students are involved with club sports, instrumental music, scouting, etc. Other families enjoy long hikes or museum visits on our days off. These are all good compliments to our program, which, due to its condensed schedule, does focus on the core academic subjects.
The beauty of a micro-school is that the community extends beyond the classroom. Many families at AHB forge bonds of friendship that last far beyond the Elementary and Middle Years that their kids are in school. We provide ample opportunities for families and parents to connect with each other throughout our school year.
At AHB Community School, one thing you will often see is parents and families interacting with students, teachers, administration, and even our broader community. Families are always welcome to find a place and a way to actively participate in their child’s education. We offer several events each year where we formally gather as a community and celebrate.
Portfolios on Parade (or POP) is an inspiring showcase of the schoolwork and projects that students have worked on throughout the semester. For one day at the end of each semester, families, students, teachers, and administration all gather for performances and tours through each classroom where students proudly discuss their work from the past semester. We often say that Portfolios on Parade is the “magic” of AHB – the chance to see what inspired learning looks like in the most direct way.
Additional community opportunities include Around The World (an exciting all-school potluck inspired by a chosen country, with authentic foods, art activities, dances, games, and speakers from the chosen country), Parent Support Nights, and Parent Coffees. We also have additional academic events that parents attend as they are able – Science Fair, Literacy Day, and performances at the end of various classes.
Each family is asked to contribute to the operation of AHB Community School by contributing 20 hours of volunteer time annually. Generally, parents sign up for their service jobs through committees: facilities, fundraising, community outreach, or school-day support. Asking families to participate in this way is an important part of the school culture; it keeps tuition affordable, draws our parents into the school circle, and models service for our students.
Our fundraising model evolved from our founder, Georgie Georgakis, who felt that every fundraiser should be a FUNdraiser. We hold several exciting events that our students look forward to each year, such as Skate Party, Bowl-a-thon and Winter Faire (a makers’ market). Additionally, our Annual Giving Campaign asks families to donate at a level that is personally meaningful.