Blue Rock School is chartered by the New York State Board of
Regents. The academic subjects are introduced within a rich
interdisciplinary structure. All skills are developed
at the child's individual pace and with the child's own interest
as the starting point. Our children learn by doing. They are
encouraged to explore, question and ponder the world
around them and thereby discover the skills and knowledge required
to become educated human beings.
curriculum is based on the New York State Board of Education
criteria. At Blue Rock School we challenge our students to set
high standards for themselves. We believe that by creating stimulating,
noncompetitive classrooms we encourage students to take risks
that will lead them to the next level. By contrast, an environment
of testing and grade based evaluation can turn the learning
process into a simple "pass the test" experience.
Blue Rock School curriculum for each grade level is age and
developmentally appropriate. Students acquire appropriate skills
and concepts. Our teachers document and assess each student's
progress throughout the year with a portfolio model. Selected
pieces of each student's work are compiled into portfolios,
that demonstrate the acquisition, mastery and understanding
of our curriculum. Teachers prepare in-depth evaluations for
each student, which in addition to regular parent /teacher conferences,
keep parents informed of their child's progress.
children learn to read and write concurrently through the
use of a whole language approach.
Regular exposure to the world's great stories, as told
by the teachers, offers the children a storehouse of impressions,
feelings, ideas and visions. They are encouraged to express
their imagination in stories, poems, paintings and other creations.
As the children's reading, writing and critical thinking skills
deepen, grammar, spelling and the structure of language become
more meaningful to them. These new skills help the growing
children to communicate more effectively. Thus our
students develop an appetite for literature and an appreciation
for the power and beauty of language. They learn that their
writing, and that of others, helps them understand their young
lives and their relationship to the world around them.
Rock School offers Spanish from Kindergarden through eighth Grade
with a creative multi-disciplinary approach. Many staff members
and some students are bilingual and a general appreciation
of all languages is encouraged.
mathematics, the children's attraction to numbers, patterns, and
structures provides the basis for their learning experiences.
The use of math manipulatives precedes work with paper and pencil.
Age appropriate materials are used to gain a real understanding
of the fundamentals of the mathematical process. Problem solving,
calculation strategies and computation are introduced in
the context of other activities in an organic way so that math
is seen as part of life. When the children study geometry,
for instance, they find that it is linked to shape and form in
nature and is the basis for many of the fine and practical arts.
Students learn to use their math skills to ask and answer
questions across the curriculum.
children's innate curiosity about the natural phenomena around
them provides an exciting introduction to the world of science.
The children are encouraged to observe and investigate. Hands
on work with animals, plants, rocks and soil provides material
to nourish both a sense of wonder and an understanding of the
methods of scientific inquiry.
social studies, yearly themes based on the lives and legends
of different cultures create numerous opportunities to expand
the children's awareness of the larger world around them.
This is balanced with the study of local and national events
and the history of the United States. Students develop a
working knowledge of how historical, geographical and cultural
forces impact societies all over the world.
and geography come alive through field trips, hikes, model building
and map making. Students encounter a wide range of ways to engage
with aspects of their own heritage and with that of other peoples.
Rock's special emphasis on the arts links together all the academic
subjects. A wide variety of materials and a generous allotment
of time for sensory experimentation are provided so that the
children can develop a relationship with clay, wool, wood, paper
and paint. During their time at the school, children learn skills
in woodworking, sewing, knitting, calligraphy and weaving. We
try to nurture both their individual vision and their appreciation
for a job well done.
on this web site courtesy of Eilleen Brady Nelson and Tom Nelson.