Our Academic Program
The Randolph School provides a cohesive, well-designed academic program that flows seamlessly from pre-K to 5th grade. We do not have a single “approach” to education at Randolph because we know that the best educators use the most effective aspects of a wide variety of pedagogies and approaches to teaching. We are informed and influenced by the work of John Dewey, Lev Vygotsky, Vivian Paley, Marilyn Burns, Maria Montessori, Howard Gardner, Alfie Kohn, Friedrich Fröbel, Peter Elbow, and others. Our teaching often includes aspects of the Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia, and Waldkindergarten approaches.
At Randolph, we will use whichever strategy is best suited for each child’s progress and growth. At the core of everything we do at Randolph is the conviction that engaging, intentional, and authentic activities are at the heart of all academic, artistic, and social/emotional growth. We also know that children become independent and empowered when they are regularly trusted with appropriate choices and opportunities for success. We view our teachers as facilitators of a natural learning process.
From pre-K to 5th grade, there are several strong characteristics that flow through our entire program:
We believe in fostering a sense of empowerment, independence, and compassion in our students so that they become autonomous and cooperative life-long learners.
We foster both the intellectual growth and the social/emotional growth of each child.
We value the individual interests, opinions, feelings, and ideas of each child.
We attend to each child’s individual academic needs.
We believe in multi-age class groupings and inter-school learning experiences.
We are patient in our approach to academics, and dive deep into topics.
We provide opportunities for children to learn through activity, play, and discovery.
We are committed to maintaining small class sizes and deep teacher/student relationships.
We believe that important learning for all ages happens out of the classroom either in nature or in our larger community.
We believe that learning is often social in nature, and that children often learn best when engaged in facilitated projects with other children.
At Randolph School, we do not use high-stakes standardized testing and keep homework to a minimum, allowing our students to spend their time learning and growing, rather than in a constant state of assessment. We closely monitor and document the progress of each child in our classes, and develop strong working relationships with our parents to address any needs that might be addressed at home. We feel that state and national curricular standards can be useful tools, and we are informed by that work. We do not, however, agree with the shallow content coverage, fast pacing, and rigid approach that so often accompanies those standards.
"My grandparents, Pete and Toshi Seeger, sent me and my sister Moraya to Randolph because they wanted to ensure that we became lifelong learners, who saw that it was our personal responsibility to make the world a better place for future generations, and that we would have an academic foundation that could take us anywhere. Today, we both have master's degrees and work in mental health - and, we are able to incorporate the skills we acquired at Randolph in our work every day."
- Kitama Cahill-Jackson was a Randolph Student from 1986-1993 and is a graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Columbia School of Social Work. His sister, Moraya, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Minneapolis.