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Day School Program

Our 4-year Day School program serves teens (age 13-18) and their families who long to live in a regenerative culture. Our curriculum is designed to empower learners with the knowledge, fortification, reflection, and practice that they need to cultivate the qualities of a regenerative culture builder and courageously respond to the world’s emerging needs.

This kind of education is rigorous and life-giving. We are looking for teenagers who are…

  • Ready to work hard to make the world a better place
  • Self-reflective and motivated to know themselves more deeply
  • Able to think beyond themselves and their own needs
  • Excited to participate and grow in beloved community
  • Able to adapt to change and think complexly

Vitality-Centered Development

Building regenerative culture begins with the individual. Vitality-centered development is the change or growth that happens when the life force that moves through a person, community, and culture is intentionally supported. Springhouse’s Day School supports the development of its staff, learners, parents and guardians, and the learning community as a whole through mentorship, a parent/guardian support program, and a collective orientation around a shared vision and values. The developmental lens that we apply to our program is informed by at least 8 years of experience in supporting adolescent development and three primary frameworks: Eco-centric development as defined by Dr. Bill Plotkin, Natural Learning Relationships as defined by Ba & Josette Luvmour, and the STAGES model as defined by Terri O’Fallon.

Vitality-Centered Education

Vitality-centered education is how regenerative culture is created and shared, and taking care of life and the vulnerability that comes with it is at the heart of this model. Springhouse’s Day School curriculum emerges from a vitality-centered educational design that consists of four core components: Knowledge, practice, reflection, and fortification. Each of these components and how they show up in our Day School curriculum – through main courses and luminary courses, dancing and singing, cohort advisory, all-school trips, the Apprenticeship Program, etc. – is expanded upon below. The daily schedule offers an additional window into the Day School experience.

Learn more about our Model of Regenerative Culture

Knowledge

Studying both the structures of the larger culture in decline and the vital systems of a regenerative culture is necessary knowledge for navigating the current paradigm while building a new one. Knowledge, as it relates to this educational design, should equip a person to better build vital culture. Learners in the Day School are equipped with this knowledge through Main Courses, Luminary Courses, and our field trips and All-School Trips, which happen three times throughout the school year.

Fortification

When a person is nourished, empowered, and adequately equipped, they can live more joyfully and continually respond to the world and its needs with courage and compassion. At Springhouse, teens (and staff) are fortified through regular community practices like singing and dancing together as well as opportunities to build resiliency through our fitness program and “math power hour.” Additionally, each learner’s fortification needs (e.g. personal finance, self-care skills, getting a driver’s license) are met in developmentally appropriate ways through cohort advisory.

Practice

To build regenerative culture, we need to be able to take what we have learned and share it in developmentally appropriate ways with the greater community. This includes putting the knowledge and skills we’ve learned into practice as we meet the needs of the world around us. The Day School curriculum creates structures for this practice through the Apprenticeship Program, learner leadership, the community work block (tending to the campus and facilities), the Final Year curriculum, our Restorative Justice process, Celebration of Learning Days, and sometimes through courses as well.

Reflection

In an intergenerational community oriented around vitality, assessment becomes a method of acknowledging an individual’s growth, vitality, and development of generative qualities – like being present, curious, creative, and introspective – and holistic skills – like adaptability, collaboration, synthesis, authentic articulation, and emotional awareness. In our curriculum, there are regular opportunities for reflection, feedback and celebration as a teenager grows and develops. These include Reflections on Learning conversations, staff-learner mentoring relationships, the Final Year Capstone process and presentation, graduation, and honoring an individual’s development through rites of passage.