In the thinking of Paulo Freire:
- We need to provide native populations with an education that is modern and anti-colonial.
- Education must serve to develop cultural identity. o Education should allow the oppressed to regain their humanity and overcome their condition, yet the oppressed have to play a role in their own liberation.
- A deep reciprocity should be inserted into our notions of teacher and student. Classroom participation should include the teacher learning and the student teaching.
- Teachers and students must be made aware of the politics that surround education.
- Discovery and experiential learning are hallmarks to learning.
- Critical thinking is necessary for transformation in our world.
- Lifelong learning is essential. We must continuously examine what we think we know, and we must be willing to accept that we might be wrong.
In the teachings of John Dewey:
- Education and learning are social and interactive processes, and thus the school itself is a social institution through which social reform can and should take place.
- Students thrive in an environment where they are allowed to experience and interact with the curriculum, and all students should have the opportunity to take part in their own learning.
- The purpose of education should not revolve around the acquisition of a pre-determined set of skills, but rather the realization of one’s full potential and the ability to use those skills for the greater good.
- Education and schooling are instrumental in creating social change and reform.
- Education empowers students, parents, and their families and social action will foster positive change within their communities.
- The process of developing young leaders begins with learning how to learn.
- All children have the potential to learn, and they learn by actively doing and participating in discovery of the world around them.
- Students should be encouraged to seek meaning from both their personal and shared community experiences.
- All children are unique with special potential and learning needs that should be individually and collectively developed.
- High-quality instruction drives student achievement. A reflective teacher is an effective teacher!
- Parents play a vital role in youth academic achievement and should be active participants in the school community.
- The school environment dictates the level of authentic learning able to take place.
- Diversity should be celebrated and similarities utilized, as cultural heritage and pride fosters identity needed for social action.
- It is important to build meaningful relationships, across race, class, gender, sexual identity and generations to strengthen the existing social capital and promote mutual respect among people in low income communities.
- Young people need to be actively engaged in the process of community change at all levels, from the street corner to the board room, and must lead positive change themselves in order for larger change to succeed.
We strive to…
- Bring unity and empowerment to the community by challenging youth, parents, teachers and staff to serve that community with respect, commitment, and high expectations.
- Produce life-long learners dedicated to consistent reflection and critical examination of their world.
- Provide all students with a clear sense of their cultural identity, a critical approach to their cultural history, and the skills and experiences to empower them to develop a strong commitment to social change within their community.
- Be an educational resource for our teachers, students, parents, and community, embracing the notion that it takes a village to raise a child and that learning is a continual process requiring multi-level support.
- Develop youth equipped with 21st century skills prepared for our rapidly changing global society.
- Provide a rigorous curriculum that reflects the national and state standards in the content areas in addition to a serve and learn approach to challenge every student’s academic and citizenship potential.
- An academically enriched K-8 th grade curriculum in two languages, Spanish and English, and a 9th -12th grade global language program because youth that graduate high school with bilingual/biliterate fluency will be more successful in the global society and have a skill advantage that is valued in the international marketplace.
- Hands-on, project-centered learning, with emphasis on development of critical thinking skills, and high academic standards.
- The latest learning tools and technologies to ensure that every student is proficient in technology, so as to be fortified with necessary skills for today’s global economy.
- Expressive arts fundamental for successful child development, as they provide avenues for intrapersonal reflection and expression not able to be achieved in traditional classrooms.
- A safe, nurturing environment conducive to authentic, exploratory learning.
- A bilingual/bicultural school support system where parents, students and community feel welcomed, embraced, belonged, and respected.
- High-quality, rigorous, consistent professional development for school staff to ensure educational excellence for the sake of student achievement.
- A leadership development program that focuses on community advocacy and service. It not only builds leadership skills in students, but also provides opportunities for them to develop specialized 21st century skills in public policy, entrepreneurship, and community-based initiatives.
- A rich menu of extracurricular programs for youth to develop 21st century skills such as collaboration, creative thinking, and leadership. A focus on healthy lifestyles, including nutrition and physical fitness programs at all grade levels.