A K-12 LEARNING COMMUNITY WHERE YOUTH HAVE THE FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY TO DIRECT THEIR EDUCATION WITH THE SUPPORT OF CARING ADULTS, IN A DYNAMIC OPEN-WALLED ENVIRONMENT.
ROCK TREE SKY OFFERS TRANSFORMATIONAL EDUCATION BY providing STRUCTURES, PROGRAMS, AND ENVIRONMENTS THAT SUPPORT KEY VALUES:
Learning is socially embedded as youth and mentors collaborate to serve the community.
Learning opportunities are given purpose because they serve the RTS community, like farm to table meal planning and lunch preparation, or because they serve the wider community, as in our campaign to reduce single-use plastic water bottles.
Following the model of extended family, all ages collaborate in work and play. Youth of different developmental levels inspire one another to stretch, and competition is diffused by the innocence of younger children.
On-going collaboration is modeled by adults and nurtured in learners.
Learners have choice in what they explore, when they feel ready to dive in, and when they rest or play.
We recognize that humans are naturally curious, intelligent creatures and respect children’s ability to construct knowledge from the world around them. When mentors are enthusiastic and open, youth will naturally gravitate to what they are ready to learn. We trust a child’s personal sense of pacing and interest to guide us in what we explore. Together, learners and mentors share the responsibility of educating oneself and the community.
Mentor Role: *create a rich environment* *facilitate off campus activities to "expand the classroom walls" into the natural world and community* *model engagement by offering activities, projects, and lessons to the community* *assist learners in identifying and navigating obstacles to their natural desire and propensity to learn*
Learner Role: *develop self-direction and time management skills through supported practice in choosing day to day activities*
Learners tinker and innovate, building competencies in a context that is relevant to their lives.
RTS has joined the makerspace movement, where students use both new technologies and traditional tools to work on real, and personally meaningful projects.
Learners take on projects with community partners in business and non-profit organizations. This provides a real audience, real expectations, and real time lines for learners' developing skills and innovations.