Basic School

Pioneer Springs Community School strives to embody the ideas of the late Dr. Ernest L. Boyer, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, as outlined in his book, The Basic School: A Community for Learning. The Basic School provides a new vision of the role formal education can play in the lives of students; one in which the various languages of learning are used to gain insight into the human experience, and which addresses all aspects of students’ development to prepare them for lifelong learning and success. The touchstone for decision making at Pioneer Springs will always be: “Is this best for children?”

According to The Basic School by Dr. Ernest L. Boyer, there are four building blocks to promote each student’s learning.

1. The School as Community – At Pioneer Springs, we seek to create a true community of learning in which students are respected and taught as individuals, teachers are empowered to lead and inspire, and parents are included as essential participants in their child’s education. In the classroom, collaborative problem solving and respectful conflict resolution set the tone for a lifetime of successful peer interaction.

2. A Curriculum with Coherence – The rigorous curriculum at Pioneer Springs has as its minimum standard the Common Core State and NC Essential Standards. However, at Pioneer Springs, this curriculum is organized to highlight connections across various fields of study, with an emphasis on universal and defining human experiences. In this way, students not only become literate in a variety of disciplines, but are also well-equipped to apply their knowledge to the multi-faceted world outside the classroom.

3. A Climate for Learning – A Pioneer Springs classroom is a safe, happy, engaging environment filled with resources that allow students to learn in ways to which they naturally respond. We maintain a low student/teacher ratio, student grouping arrangements are flexible, and movement and exercise are built into the daily schedule. Opportunities for learning extend outward to include the greater community and natural world that surrounds us.

4. A Commitment to Character – The Pioneer Springs experience is designed not only to support learning, but purposeful living as well. Seven core virtues identified by Dr. Boyer: honesty, respect, responsibility, compassion, self-discipline, perseverance and giving, are instilled in students both in the classroom and in real-world service opportunities. We believe these core virtues apply not only to our relationships with others, but also in our stewardship of our natural environment.