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Kindness. Connection. Advocacy.

Living Our Values


The Schoolhouse community is guided by our Mission and our Five Core Concepts. Our community thrives from directly experiencing this commitment, in the youngest age groups on up through the adults who contribute to life at The Schoolhouse.



The Schoolhouse Learning Center is a dynamic, diverse educational community that promotes curiosity and independence of mind. The Schoolhouse values each student’s voice, nurtures respectful relationships, and empowers students to have a positive impact on their communities.

Our Five Core Concepts:
Trust, Sharing, Belonging, Responsibility, Respect


We believe that social and emotional development are as important as academic achievement. Our Five Core Concepts of trust, sharing, belonging, responsibility, and respect are embraced by our community of teachers, students, and families:

  • Teachers model social and emotional skills every day and communicate with grown-ups throughout the year with class letters, blogs, and informal conversations. 

  • Students actualize our Core Concepts through multi-age groupings in all three programs, Short Courses in elementary and middle school, job partners, reading buddies, and free play.

  • There is minimal separation between home and school. All family members are invited to be a part of Schoolhouse programs and are a vital part of the community. Children understand this is their place to be valued and can feel safe because they see their family spending time here.

Conflict Resolution and “Stop I Really Mean It”

When conflicts arise, it’s not enough to ask children to “use their words.” They might not know what to say! At The Schoolhouse, we model respectful speaking and listening, and we explicitly teach children strategies for peaceful conflict resolution. In Story Time preschool, conflict resolution and our core values are modeled throughout the day, woven in and out of both structured and unstructured play.


In the elementary and middle school, students all agree to abide by a special phrase anyone can use to request a break and to be heard. “Stop I really mean it” is for those times when one person feels that another is being disrespectful or hurtful to their body, their heart, or their belongings, and they need the other person to stop immediately. At the start of each school year, every student in the elementary and middle school formally agrees to use the phrase carefully – only when needed – and respect the request when asked.

“Stop I really mean it for poking me. You’re hurting my body.”

“Stop I really mean it for saying that. You’re hurting my feelings.”

“Stop I really mean it for pulling on my sweater. My grandmother made it and I’m afraid you’ll damage it.”

Cooperative play and "Stop I really mean it" are important building blocks for learning about compassionate communication, personal agency, and consent.

“You Can’t Say You Can’t Play” – Why Cooperative Play Matters


At The Schoolhouse, we take inclusiveness seriously. If a group of children are playing and another wants to join, the motto is: “You can’t say you can’t play!”

Sometimes a child will want to play by themselves, and of course that is okay. However, if two or more students gather for an unstructured activity, or if a group of students is playing together, they are not allowed to exclude others. We find that this simple rule supports many positive behaviors – empathy, cooperation, flexibility, and kindness. Teachers are always ready to work with students as they learn to navigate new and creative ways of keeping their play open to all. The roots of justice begin in the imagination and hearts of children.

"Stop I Really Mean It"
"You Can't Say You Can't Play"
5 Core Concepts
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