We’ve created innumerable opportunities for each student to participate in their community as a good citizen and to step forward as a leader. They can serve as a teacher’s helper in Lower School or return to Lower School in sixth or seventh grade as an early childhood classroom assistant. They can lead a section in orchestra, or a community service project, or a warm-up at lacrosse practice. When you look at each activity in the school day as a chance for leadership building, it’s striking the variety of ways you find for each child to shine.
Independence students also gain extensive experience speaking in public, starting with Lower School classroom presentations and building to larger audiences. Finding a confident voice is a giant step toward finding themselves comfortable in the role of the leader.
At Independence, we believe that learning to answer questions like these is just as essential as learning science, Spanish or history.
In our I-to-I Conflict Resolution Program, children learn a step-by-step process for working through differences. In our Middle School Character Development Program, they explore ethical decision making, our rights and responsibilities as citizens, and timely topics such as countering cyber bullying.
Just as important, in classrooms throughout the school and moments through the day, our students interact with caring educators who make it their mission to nurture growth in character and values. This happens through explicit instruction and also quiet, powerful example.
“When you see one of our runners at a cross-country meet cheering on an opponent who’s having a hard time, you realize that sportsmanship is very close to citizenship. When we teach one, we’re teaching both.”
Jason Motta, Physical Education Teacher & Co-Athletic Director
“When you look at our musical ensembles, which are phenomenally popular, you see we make the kind of music you can only make as a group. Every child learns, ‘Other people are relying on me. I need to do my part.’”
Tae Sakamoto, General Music Teacher & Orchestra/Choral Director