Nurturing Curiosity

Leonardo DaVinci influences all we do at the Middleburg Community Charter School. Our goal is innovative programming that promotes our mission to develop life‐long learners who are curious, caring, reflective, productive members of our community, by using methods that work best for each of them so they can learn at their own pace and be challenged by teachers who bring out a child’s natural curiosity in a small school setting committed to cutting edge innovation.

Middleburg Leobred’s are serious about their mission. The DaVinci By the CREEK Project is designed to advance our innovative, integrated curriculum and learning experiences as we move into our second year of operation.

C – Creativity programming

R – Relationship building

E – Engineering and Life Science experiences

E – Essential Understandings in Math and Language Arts

K – Knowledge of global, national, state and local geographical, historical and present Social Studies

1. Creativity Programming

The DaVinci By the Creek Project is designed to embed creativity within each subject area taught at our school. The subject areas at MCCS are a mix of conventional and innovative programming. Creativity lives in the customized lessons in mathematics and language arts; Creativity lives in the daily Arts Hour; Creativity lives in the Science classes (Wonder Workshops in K to Grade 2 and DaVinci Labs in Grades 3 to 5); Creativity lives in physical education customized lessons, and creativity lives when families work together to design their quarterly DaVinci Projects.

In 2015, MCCS plans to begin the Leobred Publishing Company to coordinate and encourage original student, staff and community work. The project plans to showcase at least three community-based publications per year. The goal is to become a destination for educators and families seeking innovative and authentic ideas for engaging learning across all ages.

2. Relationships Building

Every morning each class at MCCS takes part in deliberate ‘relationship building’ activities. This 30-minute class takes a variety of forms including morning meeting, advisory and an explicit curriculum that supports character education, service learning, guidance education and health education. Teaching young people to form relationships and modeling the formation of relationships is the glue that helps to bind how well people can collaborate with one in other, and in essence, develop collective intelligence. Without the basics of respect and understanding the importance of relating to others, it can be difficult to understanding oneself – to be self aware and responsible for learning.

In 2015, MCCS plans to revise and further develop a customized Leobred Express resource for each student to weave six different resources that support a cyclical multi-age program. The values listed on the scope and sequence address the Social, Emotional, Health and Guidance state standards. The resource will integrate the monthly school assemblies that kick-off service-learning campaigns in the school. This year five classes have spearheaded the following activities: Heifer International, Humane Society, Mitten Tree for Needy Kids; Random Acts of Kindness; and Seven Loaves Food Bank. Such community service experiences provide authentic contexts for learning. By developing resources, we seek to break the mold of school as something done for teachers or grades; rather school can be something that helps young people make a difference in the world by applying the state expectations within real and meaningful settings.