Pre-K & Kindergarten
The Pre-Primary is an open Montessori influenced classroom using hands-on lessons that teach concepts of numbers, geometry, science, language, and geography skills. The environment provides opportunity for independent learning, creative expression, and social interaction.
The program offers flexibility for families by offering half-day or full-day attendance for students ages 3 to 4 year olds. Kindergarten is full-day, everyday class. Daily accessibility and communication between families and teachers, as well as scheduled conferences, fosters an individual plan for each student’s success. The teaching staff includes a lead teacher and assistant.
The Pre-Primary curriculum integrates multiple intelligences with sensorial experiences. Use of the five senses, with movement, provides avenues for absorbing the phonetic sounds of the alphabet (i.e. sandpaper letters, songs incorporating hand signs, preparing and tasting food, dancing and creative movement). The prepared environment encompasses safety lessons, books and printed materials, care of self and environment, and with daily calendar and discussions to promote self-expression and a welcoming exchange of ideas and learning through sharing and listening. Students learn concepts by working with materials, rather than by direct instruction.
The Lower Elementary class is comprised of 1st and 2nd grade and is capped at 12 students. The class often works in groups based on interests and skill levels. A rotating curriculum allows students to learn more freely at their own pace, while allowing the teacher more time with the student to better support them in working with their unique learning styles and at their particular level of achievement.
The primary focus of the curriculum at this level is Literacy and Numeracy. We center the curriculum on the 21st century skills that include the 5C’s of Character, Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, and Communication. The class follows project based learning themes adopted by the teaching staff throughout the year. Classroom studies revolve around these themes providing students with enriched hands on and experiential learning. Incorporated into these studies are our Camping program (students go camping twice a year), Wisdom of the Hands (wood-shop), Art, Music, the Social Sciences, and exciting field trips. The students begin to take ownership of their learning through this process and begin to discover their interests.
The Upper Elementary class is comprised of 3rd and 4th graders, with a cap of 12 students. This small class size and grouping, using a rotating curriculum, allows students to learn more freely at their own pace, while allowing the teacher more time with the student to better support them in working with their unique learning styles and at their particular level of achievement.
The primary focus of the curriculum at this level is building on skills in literacy, numeracy, geography, and history. In teaching the Language Arts and Math we use the 21st century skills that incorporate the 5 C’s. These include: Character, Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, and Communication.
The class follows project based learning themes adopted by the teaching staff throughout the year. Classroom studies revolve around these themes providing students with enriched hands-on experiential learning. Incorporated into these studies are our Camping program (wherein students go camping in the fall and spring), Wisdom of the Hands (wood-shop), Art, Music, the Social Sciences, and exciting field trips. The students begin to take ownership of their learning through this process and begin to discover their interests.
The Middle School grades (5th - 7th)
Our core tenants for this age are to prepare the students for the changes and challenges they are about to face in the higher grades. We create a safe, non judgemental space for students to explore their creative talents in a positive way. Students are encouraged to explore different avenues of learning so they may discover talents they may not have known they have.
Our class has a big emphasis on outdoor education. This expands beyond learning about nature. During the warmer seasons, our classes are often held outdoors. We might have our math and english lessons during a four mile hike around lake leatherwood. We find inspiration for creative writing during outdoor meditation.
For this age group, we find that exercise is very important. We have a weekly running class on top of daily yoga. We are all about setting good, healthy habits.
Every year, the school adopts an overarching theme to base our curriculum on. Every lesson is developed to incorporate our school’s 5C’s. Character, Creativity, Cooperation, Communication, and Critical Thinking are the cornerstones that craft our learning experience. Through our work on project based learning and group projects, we expand from just our classroom to the entire school. Allowing students to work with blended age groups, gives students an array of educational opportunities for growth. Older students take on leadership roles during the camping curriculum as they guide younger grades, younger students might give demonstrations to older students, reading buddies find greater literacy in helping one another and many other opportunities are available in this type of learning environment. We also fold music, art, woodworking, cooking, and other fine arts and activities into the semesters theme to create a truly hands-on experience.
The Upper School is composed of students in eighth to twelfth grades. The curriculum is based on a block schedule model. This means that students engage in an intensive study of one topic for a period of two to six weeks taught by professionals in the relevant field within a small classroom setting. Through this method, students are offered an interdisciplinary perspective in the chosen field. This learning model is proven to be highly effective for students and continues the hands-on hearts engaged philosophy of the Clear Spring School into the Upper School years.
Integrated into all of our academic studies are our signature programs and enrichment classes. Combined with our tradition of service-learning with local mentors, the Clear Spring School provides a comprehensive program of community involvement by preparing young adults for fulfilling lives after graduation. The Travel Program allows a point of integration for a multitude of academic subjects and personal life skills. The Internship program is ideal for furthering student education and helps them decide on a career path. The Independent Studies program gives the student the opportunity to fulfill their credit needs. This program may also be used for students who have a special interest.
Clear Spring’s Upper School program sets students up for success in college, however, it is not a merely college preparatory program. We endeavor to provide an experience that results in creative well-rounded adults who are well acquainted with the processes of critical thinking, effective communication, collaboration, and solid character skills that will set them up for success in whatever path they may choose.
Heart Strings Studio
A music studio on campus where students are engaged in learning about music and also the exploration and creation of music.
Wisdom of the Hands Studio
A woodshop program in which every student participates founded on the belief that having the hands engaged in learning is important for all students and supports all learning styles. A woodshop program in which every student participates founded on the belief that having the hands engaged in learning is important for all students and supports all learning styles. The woodshop is now located in the new Phyllis Poe Hands-on Learning Center.
A variety of programming at the Clear Spring School is focused on outdoor Education. Blocks on Environmental Science as well as camping, fishing and nature focused field trips are just a few of the ways the Clear Spring students are engaged with the natural world.
This program led by Mark Hughes provides students with the opportunity to learn the skills of sewing and other fiber arts. The Sewing studio is located in the Phyllis Poe Hands-on Learning Center.
Heath & Wellness
Students are in yoga class learning about self-care with Victoria Canter.
Beekeeping & Gardening
Students learning from resident beekeeper and gardening instructor, Bethany Smith.
Visual Arts Studio
The new art studio in the Phyllis Poe Hands-on Learning Center offers our student a variety of art classes in different media.