From the Director
Students flourish at Thaddeus Stevens School. Our teachers love their subjects and bring great passion and commitment to the classroom. We believe that children can learn every day. These are creative, curious, energetic years, and our rigorous curriculum inspires students to question and to pursue knowledge with fervor.
Our approach to education embraces three important elements:
- A curriculum rich with diverse approaches for intellectual growth and achievement. Intellectual growth is best achieved through a curriculum, rich with diverse approaches, that uses the authentic tools of each discipline and evokes thinking beyond memorized data. This empowers students to pursue learning with curiosity and excitement at a critical time in their development.
- An atmosphere that values children and encourages civic development. The best way to ensure the civic development of pre-adolescents is to value them as citizens who bear the torch of the future. Young adults have a strong desire to learn about the real issues they will face as they become full participants in the world, and they respond eagerly to teachers who believe that they are capable of doing so. They are ready to explore their values and to test their beliefs through discussion and reflection. Offering students literature that includes novels, short stories, poems, speeches, diaries, and newspapers from the present and past, and that reflects a variety of ethnicities and classes, raises their awareness of the variety in the American experience. The true stories, the arguments, the paradoxes, and the great moral struggles of our nation inspire students to believe that their voices and knowledge will in fact make a difference in the world.
- A safe environment for fostering emotional health. A rich and diverse curriculum and an atmosphere that values children cannot succeed without an emotionally safe environment. In order to grow intellectually, students must feel safe enough to test their ideas out loud and take intellectual risks. Students must feel certain that administrators and teachers will protect them from any degree of harassment from their classmates. Leaving students to resolve their own conflicts or employing a “kids will be kids” approach is a sure way to stunt growth. Students need to know that, as one of our students said: “Teachers keep an eye on everyone.” Knowing that adults maintain a high level of behavioral expectation allows students to pursue their interests and their ideas freely.
At Thaddeus Stevens School, we have a vision of what education can be. I encourage you to visit and ask lots of questions. I’m sure you’ll enjoy meeting our students and teachers, and you’ll be excited by their genuine enthusiasm for learning.
Julie Hansen, Director