Mission Statement

The mission of the 9th Street Schoolhouse is to empower future citizens to find their authentic interests and skills by providing strong and loving mentorship in a rich learning environment that connects them to their place in their communities and on this earth. 9th Street is committed to making alternative education accessible to those who seek it.

Vision Statement

The schoolhouse vision is to help raise children to love themselves, to cultivate meaningful relationships, to contribute to their communities in positive ways, to be good stewards of the natural world, and to create satisfying vocations that lead to happy, full lives.

Children learn best when they have plenty of hands-on experiences. Doing and creating in this way allows them to construct their own understandings. Real life learning is meaningful in their lives.

Children need time to move, talk, and play. Development of social skills / conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, self awareness, and physical development are equally important to academic learning.

Children need a multi-age environment where they have the opportunity to learn from older peers and model for younger ones. Age diversity also promotes acceptance of all learning styles and speeds.

Children need to spend a lot of time outdoors learning about, connecting to, and falling in love with nature in a concrete way. Their health and the health of the earth depend on it.

Children need to know that they are an important part of the web of life on Earth. They need to develop a positive self-image and have a strong sense of their unique place in their family, community, and the world. They need opportunities and guidance to deal with conflict constructively. They also need to experience the connections that allow a community to thrive and know how important it is to give back to that community.

Children need to develop a lifelong love of learning. They need blocks of self-directed time to learn how to identify and pursue their own interests and to follow their innate curiosity. Instruction should be tailored to these interests and to individual learning styles. Hard work, challenge, and focus are developed through the channel of authentic interest.

Teacher-mentors need to see students as they really are by spending time cultivating relationships with them. Our instruction is based on observations of the child, listening to the child’s talk and play, and watching for those growing edges where new horizons can be introduced. Conversations with the parents factor into learning goals as well.

Learning happens all the time, especially at home! Parents have the greatest influence over their kids, and are invaluable partners in education. We support families learning at home through communicating current learning objectives and recommending resources. We welcome parent involvement though volunteering at the schoolhouse and soliciting project ideas and skills to share with the kids. We facilitate a strong community through our monthly Park Days and Spring and Fall camp-outs.

A low teacher-student ratio promotes meaningful relationships between mentors and each child, and the small group facilitates peer-to-peer learning.