Abiqua’s purpose is to serve, nurture, and challenge our students to become curious, imaginative, and constructive thinkers. Learning is a continuum.
Beginning in Pre-Kindergarten, each grade at Abiqua focuses on acquiring concepts and developing skills. Students work in a diverse, collaborative environment that fosters strong peer relationships, broad social experiences, and leadership opportunities. They develop a sense of ownership of their learning environment and responsibility for their behavior. The level of intensity and amount of work increase with each grade, culminating in Advanced Placement and other college level courses until high school graduation.
This influences our instructional design, where our curriculum is not geared to the work of a single year. After kindergarten, children benefit by staying with a first grade teacher through second grade. This purposeful structure makes diversity of learning an advantage. Here, students naturally became more accepting of one another’s differences, creating a cooperative atmosphere rather than one of competition.
At third grade, children enter a multi-age experience, joining with the fourth graders. Fourth graders welcome the third graders into the organization of the program. In this classroom, the teacher supports the complex set of needs of each individual child with the flexibility to group children to guide the students to their next level of success. All the students have a broader social experience with increased opportunities to lead, to collaborate and to establish peer relationships. Students are encouraged to have responsibility and ownership of their learning environment.
This structure continues through Middle School with groupings of fifth with sixth graders, and seventh with eighth graders. These multi-age classes are lovingly referred to as the MAC’s (Mature Adolescent Class) and YAC’s (Young Adult Class). This sort of learning environment encourages young students to open their minds.