Community School of Davidson adheres to the ideas and philosophy of The Basic School, which is a comprehensive plan, created by the late Dr. Ernest L. Boyer, President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, that strives to incorporate research proven practices in the education of every student. Many of the descriptions throughout this website come directly from The Basic School. There are four educational priorities which are the essential building blocks to achieve overall excellence for each student:
The School as Community – the school is a community that has a shared vision to promote learning and where teachers are leaders and parents are partners.
A Curriculum with Coherence – The curriculum incorporates eight "Core Commonalities” or universal experiences shared by all people: the Life Cycle, the Use of Symbols, Membership in Groups, a Sense of Time and Space, Response to the Aesthetic, Connections to Nature, Producing and Consuming, and Living with a Purpose. These themes spiral upward from kindergarten to the upper grades with the central goal of all students becoming proficient in the written and spoken word, mathematics and the arts. High academic standards are set and student progress is measured in meaningful ways.
A Climate for Learning – In order to promote an optimum learning climate, class sizes are small, teaching schedules are flexible, and student grouping arrangements are varied. Class sizes are small with high adult to student ratio. Every student has access to resources to enrich their learning and essential support services are available for students and their families.
A Commitment to Character – Concern for the ethical and moral dimensions of a student's life is just as important as the academic dimension. Seven core virtues; honesty, respect, responsibility, compassion, self-discipline, perseverance and giving -- are taught by both word and deed and are woven into everyday classroom experiences. Students are taught to live with a purpose and are encouraged to apply these lessons, learned through curriculum, school climate and service, to the world around them.
These building blocks are the foundational framework for Community School of Davidson. Every decision made at CSD, from budget to curriculum, is based upon these guiding principles. Ultimately, our aim is not just to build a better school, but to build a better world for our students and to foster in them the desire to be life-long learners.
In his book, The Basic School – A Community for Learning, Dr. Boyer emphasizes, “It is our deepest hope that not a single student, let alone a whole generation of students, should pass through the schoolhouse door unprepared for the world that lies before them. And there is, we believe, an urgency to this effort.”¹
Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral wrote: ”Many things we need can wait. The child cannot. Now is the time his bones are being formed, his blood is being made, his mind is being developed. To him we cannot say tomorrow, his name is today.”²
At Community School of Davidson, every student's name is “Today.”
¹Ernest L. Boyer, The Basic School – A Community for Learning, (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc., 1995), 12.
²Gabriela Mistral, Llamado por el Niño (The Call for the Child), 1946.