Goal 1:

Learn how to learn, for life, by:

• respecting choice as central to learning;
• exploring and practicing basic skills;
• applying basic skills to real life, hands-on learning experiences;
• fostering the pursuit of genuine interests and passions within the classroom and extending
into the community;
• making use of community resources, including mentors, learning sites, apprenticeships
and genuine work;
• encouraging peer learning and appreciation of difference;
• encouraging the pursuit of beautiful, challenging, useful work;
• appreciating the value of mistakes.

Goal 2:

Discover your whole self by:

• engaging in activities of the heart, mind and body;
• paying attention to learning styles and various intelligences;
• practicing reflection and introspection;
• playing and laughing, dancing and singing;
• encouraging each child to discover his/her own artist within;
• developing and discovering individual skills and interests.

Goal 3:

Live in harmony with the natural environment by:

• practicing reduce, reuse, recycle and composting every day;
• thinking globally, acting locally in terms of responsible, sustainable living;
• exploring the ecosystem of our “backyard” and our role in that system;
• exploring the interrelationship of all things;
• actively participating in political issues that effect the natural environment.


• encouraging the development of personal values, ethics and a sense of justice;
• practicing respect, appreciation, compassion, and acceptance of diversity;
• using community meetings and consensus to make decisions about learning, justice,
governance, and relationships;
• accepting responsibility for one’s own actions as they affect other individuals and the
immediate and global community;
• engaging actively in multi-cultural experiences;
• participating in and contributing to the social, political, environmental and economic life of
the various communities that touch the lives of the learners;
• considering all sides of issues;
• exploring the benefits of diversity in the human and physical world.

Goal 4:

Practice responsible, knowledgeable citizenship by:




The Eight Basic Skills

These four primary goals are broken down into The Eight Basic Skills, which are used by
students, teachers and parents to set goals and evaluate progress. Additionally, teachers reflect
on these goals while planning curriculum units and individual classes.

The “Basic Skills” as defined by the School Around Us, assume that all things are connected, a
reflection of the spiritual aspect of Holistic Education. SAU is not a traditional school, in that the “basics” include matters of the spirit, the body, the heart, as well as the mind. Academics are certainly important, but they are only part of the “basics”.  These are presented here in alphabetical order so as not to stress one basic skill over another.

1. Body Knowledge

• Sports and games
• Theater and dance
• Anatomy and Physiology
• Spacial awareness
• Physical challenges
• Healthy living and eating
• Developmental growth and changes


2. Citizenship

• Community Service
• Democratic Process, and consensus
• Social, Political, Environmental awareness
• Active involvement in community
• Civic issues
• Ethics

3. Communication

• Reading, writing, speaking, storytelling
• Interpersonal skills, such as conflict resolution, facilitation, respect for others, and respect
for diversity
• Listening skills
• Seeing the value of many perspectives
• Asking for what you need
• Group discussion

4. Creative Arts

• Building things
• Plays, puppets and mime
• Creating videos, paintings, murals etc.
• Playing, writing and listening to music, singing
• Dancing and tumbling
• Film making, photography

5. Environmental Harmony

• Gaining a sense of place and one’s impact on the environment
• Practice reduce, reuse, recycle, composting
• Understanding ecosystems and diversity
• Examining the global and political aspects of climate change

6. Logical Thinking

• Mathematics and Arithmetic
• Problem recognition and solving
• Science
• Technology
• Organizational skills
• Logic games, such as chess
• Understanding the cause and affect of our daily actions
• Predicting events, following through with plans and scheduling

7. Practical Life Skills

• Cooking, cleaning, fixing, sewing, building
• Handling money
• Resource finding/using
• Learning from mistakes
• What people do in the adult world
• Making friends and being a good friend
• Being an active member of a group
• Decision-making

8. Self Knowledge

• Reflection
• Exploring many ways of knowing
• Taking responsibility for one’s own actions
• Development of voice
• Exploring personal passions
• Development of self-direction, self-discipline and self-motivation
• Honoring your own personal strengths and challenges
• Understanding learning styles