Education Philosophy

At Unity Charter School, our focus on sustainability makes us unique, but how and why we teach it define our distinction. Our educational philosophy is focused on the development of the whole child—academic, social and emotional—and is approached in immersive ways that foster the development of confident, capable global citizens and 21st century leaders.

Unique aspects of our educational philosophy are:

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Leadership in Sustainability Education

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An Experiential and Hands-On Learning Approach

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Multi-Age Learning

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Customized Learning Opportunities

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Student-Led Initiatives

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A Positive Discipline Program

Experiential and Hands-On Learning Approach

Students develop 21st century skills, including creativity, critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration and citizenship via our project-based, experiential model. Our in-depth sustainability and STEAM programs over-index in experiential learning opportunities, as we leverage opportunities to educate from our outdoor classroom and the greater community.

Multi-Age Learning

We believe that children should have the ability to learn at their own pace, which is why multi-age learning groups are a unique advantage in Unity’s academic structure. With the exception of the Kindergarten learning group, all students at Unity are taught in learning groups of different ages: first and second, third and fourth, fifth and sixth, and seventh and eighth grades. This structure allows for more flexibility and differentiated instruction in addressing student’s academic, social and emotional needs, allowing them to progress according to academic strengths and weaknesses, and not just chronological age.

Customized Learning Opportunities

At Unity Charter, there are no academic ceilings, allowing students to grow to their maximum potential. If a child needs a greater challenge in any subject area, they are not limited to their specific learning group; For example, it is not uncommon for 4th grade students to take 6th grade math and our middle students can take high school level Algebra, Geometry and Algebra II.

Student-Led Initiatives

All students are encouraged to identify additional focus areas of study based on surveys taken alongside their parents. To help pave a path for success, students then coordinate with teachers to develop projects, strategies for growth, and rubrics for ongoing reflection and final assessment. By giving students the power to help guide their own learning, we’re declaring support for their interests and ultimate autonomy.

Positive Discipline Program

Positive Discipline is integrated into daily life at Unity. It is designed to model and teach students how to become responsible, respectful, and resourceful members of their communities. The Positive Discipline Parenting and Classroom Management model focuses on the importance of belonging and significance, respect for all people, encouragement, strategies for behavior, and the development of problem solving and communication skills for students and staff. This solution-focused program engages our entire school commUnity—administrators, teachers, students, and parents—in creating a strong foundation for the social and emotional development of the child. Based on the teachings of Alfred Adler, Positive Discipline develops the important social-emotional and life skills in a manner that is deeply respectful and encouraging for both children and adults. Our Positive Discipline program provides teachers and parents with the tools and skills necessary to successfully implement Positive Discipline in the classroom and at home. Unity’s founders believed that strong “social and emotional skills are necessary for students to attain high academic achievement” and therefore included this in the charter. Learn more at www.positivediscipline.com

“We chose Unity Charter because it is aligned with our values as a family and because of their unique approach to academic achievement. Unity’s Positive Discipline Program is something that we were practicing at home, making Unity a natural fit. Plus, Education for Sustainability has been invaluable in allowing my children to learn about global issues and develop a voice of advocacy for themselves and for others. They love going to school, trust the staff, and are physically and mentally engaged and confident!”

“Learning is contagious when you allow students to do it through extrinsic motivation. For many children, this means allowing them the time and opportunity to learn more about their passions and strengths. Our students carry these opportunities and memories for a lifetime, and it helps build their self-esteem. Offering them an opportunity to showcase their talents and passions to our community is imperative.”

– Kirstin Sechler , Parent