Seven Generations Charter School

About Seven Generations Charter School

The Seven Generations Charter School is one in which students from every grade level engage in activities focused on sustainable living, environmental stewardship, and respect for our planet and all living things. We believe that a school with excellent academic standards can also be a place where students learn citizenship and develop the skills to succeed as they improve the overall quality of life in their communities.

Our school was founded on seven core values – sustainability, creativity, mutual respect, cultural richness, integrated, academic excellence and hands-on learning – that inform everything from our curriculum and teaching methods to our daily activities, decision-making processes and how we interact with each other as a community.

An education at Seven Generations encompasses:

A rigorous academic program that fulfills state academic guidelines while maintaining a strong environmental focus. Instructors engage in extensive, ongoing collaborations, developing programs that meet educational requirements and immerse children in the world around them.

An experiential, project-based curriculum that promotes hands-on learning in nature and the community as well as the classroom. The “Using the Environment as an Integrating Context for learning” (EIC) curricular framework, developed by the State Education and Environment Roundtable (SEER), is the foundation for the school’s educational program. While this approach develops students’ environmental awareness, the main goal of the evidence-based model of instruction is to employ a school’s particular surroundings and community (natural, social, cultural and historical) as the context for all learning. Incorporating the “best practices” of successful educators nationwide, the EIC framework has been proven to increase student performance on standardized measures of academic achievement in reading, writing, math, social studies and science; improve development of problem-solving, critical thinking and decision-making skills; heighten engagement in and enthusiasm for learning; reduce discipline and classroom management problems, and facilitate students’ greater pride and ownership in schoolwork.

Integrated, interdisciplinary instruction. Research shows that this teaching style enables students to explore deeper connections between subject matter (i.e. how math is related to history and how science and social studies are linked to art and music); to better synthesize disparate knowledge; to use higher-level thinking to understand complex real-world problems that are shaped by diverse cultural, economic and political perspectives and interests, and to develop more creative approaches to problem-solving.

Active parental involvement. Parents have many opportunities to help and tutor in the classroom, assist teachers with administrative duties, collaborate on fundraising activities, and contribute their individual talents and expertise to enrich students’ educational experience.

A student-centered, constructivist approach that recognizes diverse learning styles and values each person’s contribution to the group.Teachers tap into the creativity and uniqueness of each child, tailoring curriculum to develop individual talents, interests and needs. Students are active participants in a community that welcomes diversity and encourages questioning, thoughtfulness and mutual respect. Students help establish classroom rules of behavior; aid teachers in designing activities, and work collaboratively to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to address issues that affect their world.

Collaborative service-learning projects. Students, teachers and community partners, including nonprofit and arts organizations, universities, local farmers and businesses, work side by side on lesson blocks, environmental remediation and other beneficial ventures that form the backbone of the educational curriculum. For example, working with community partners, students may plant an “Edible Schoolyard,” raise their own organic produce, prepare and eat their own food during school lunches, and bring excess produce to a food bank or a farmer’s market. Along the way, students acquire core academic skills – reading, writing, arithmetic – while they study biodiversity, seasonal changes, nutritional content of foods, greenhouse gases, and all of the other environmental, sociological, and economic factors that play a part in these real-life experiences. Please see our Community Partners page for a list of our current partners, or information on partnering with the school.

A culturally rich environment that celebrates the expansive world around us and deepens learning. Seven Generations encourages participation in non-traditional subject matter such as music, fine arts and theater performance, health, hands-on scientific experiments, gardening and cooking, hiking, outdoor adventure education, portfolio work and more.

An inclusive special education program. Our unique program creates a positive learning environment for all. Students with special needs willparticipate in all aspects of the educational experience with appropriate accommodations and learning support services.

An inclusive governance model. One of Seven Generations’ core values is that respectful communication at all levels gives every member a voice in the life of the school. It also helps students develop the advocacy skills necessary to be empowered citizens. To that end, we employ the Formal Consensus model in all school discussions, including monthly Board of Trustees meetings. Implicit in Formal Consensus is the notion that all opinions and ideas are important, and that problem-solving or visioning for the future should be a collaborative effort of the school community, as opposed to a traditional hierarchic model of decision-making. Formal Consensus training is offered periodically throughout the year to interested parents and family members.

A facility that is a living embodiment of the curriculum.  We build and retrofit our school facility in accordance with sustainable design principles, using green and repurposed materials and energy sources that lead to a reduced carbon footprint.

A vibrant community that extends beyond the walls of the school. Our school offers a warm, supportive community that enjoys ongoing events, seasonal festivals, and series of lectures and workshops on sustainability, green innovations and family life.

Download a brochure: Seven Generations Charter School Brochure