Rock Tree sky is a mixed age learning environment. Our main program welcomes learners aged 5-18.
RTS also hosts a non-separation early childhood program on our campus. If you have a little one between the ages of 2 and 4 please follow this link to learn more about our Pebbles Program.
Mixed age learning community
At Rock Tree Sky, learners are free to engage with, befriend, and collaborate with people of any age. However, we do recognize that children at different stages of development do have different needs. When learners attend Rock Tree Sky they are assigned to a "band" (definition: group, camp, or tribe, the simplest form of human society.) comprised of similarly aged peers and facilitated by a caring adult mentor.
Learners meet with their band at the beginning and end of each day. The flow of the band meetings and some of the offerings available to each band does differ slightly by age group. It is not unusual for individuals to find a stronger sense of belonging with a band outside of their age; when this is the case, the mentors may agree to have the learner meet with a band that is more appropriate based on where they are developmentally. One of the ways that learners practice agency is by determining for themselves when they are ready to join a band of older learners.
Children between the ages of 2 and 4 years old are welcome to join our Pebbles Program. Learn more about the pebbles program here.
Our 5-7 year old's are affectionally called the Roots Band. The Roots Band is held by an early childhood professional and has a home base in the Imagination Room and Zone. Here learners begin the day with a morning circle that includes group songs, a feelings check, a daily calendar check, a description of the daily offerings, and a gradual practice of intention setting.
Learners of this age generally enjoy their day exploring and freely playing across campus as well as engaging in some facilitated offerings.
A daily offering of story-time lunch takes place inside the Imagination Room. This offering is also open to students of all ages with stories geared towards our Roots learners. Roots learners do have the choice whether or not to attend story-time lunch, but we have found that offering a read-aloud can be supportive of learners who need a focused time to eat their lunch.
At the end of the day learners join together for a closing circle that may include group songs, mindfulness activities, reflection sharing, and story-time.
Children between the ages of 8 and 12 are most often grouped into a large cohort that we simply call Middles. RTS has three different Middles bands, each facilitated by a different qualified mentor.
During morning circle, the band facilitator will share the daily offerings from the daily offerings schedule and learners will have an opportunity to share their intentions for the day. Circle time is viewed as a time for increasing connection to one another and may also include group games with the intention of cultivating a sense of belonging.
Learners have agency throughout the day to engage in a variety of both self-directed and facilitated activities across campus.
At the end of each day learners rejoin in bands for closing circle where they share reflections from the day.
Teens start and end their day with band meetings facilitated by an experienced mentor.
Our teens engage in seminars, self-directed studies, and number of offerings available. Additionally, the teens generally have unsupervised off-campus privileges that allow for them to possibly include walking to the nearby creek with a friend or buying lunch off campus.
Our mentor team curates a variety of teen-specific offerings including council and teen field trips.
At the end of each day learners rejoin in band groups for closing circle where they share reflections from the day.