We are reimagining elementary education to cultivate equity and inspire the next generation of innovators through project-based learning. By creating hands-on projects to solve tangible, community- focused problems, the students will discover their passion for working as a team while achieving mastery in multiple disciplines.
Every strong foundation has four corners that support its integrity. Our school’s educational foundation is no exception. In order for the structure to stay strong, all four corners must work together and support each other.
We believe education should be integrated with play, passion, and purpose. Students learn best in an environment where they are able to have ownership and a voice in the process. The concept of project-based learning allows children to explore cross-curricular subjects and discover solutions to diverse problems. Through teamwork students will contribute their individual strengths. This creates the intrinsic motivation to dig in deeply to academics. Academic subjects are not siloed, and instead are integrated for the most engaging and innovative learning experiences.
Our curriculum naturally flows through the year incorporating seasonal elements to make academics more tangible to young minds. Outdoor education is an integral part of each day and allows for hands-on science, an opportunity for increased movement, and a deep understanding of being conscious stewards of our home. When children are able to keep their bodies active, deeper connections are made because of sharper focus, increased mood, and improved memory. The earth provides natural inspiration of discovery, movement and play which creates an atmosphere of whimsy.
The arts are as important as academics and at Limestone they are treated as such. Arts education builds confidence, enhances communication, and deepens understanding of self and community. The arts can foster a creativity and self exploration that is harder to find intrinsically in other areas of academics. By exploring art in all of its many facets, a child can learn the confidence and strategies to find creativity in other areas of learning. The arts are a perfect beginning to the discovery of one’s passion.
Our students are part of a close-knit school community and also understand the role they play within the larger city, state, and global community. In doing so, we can foster optimism. The idea that no matter how challenging a problem, a solution can be found. The act of learning of a community’s needs and struggles also nurtures empathy: the ability to imagine a world from multiple perspectives and having the attitude of putting people first. All of this can light the fire in our students’ discovery of purpose.
Project-based learning (sometimes called problem-based learning) is the process of students exploring an open-ended question or problem. The question/problem is authentic to students lives or interests which makes it highly engaging. Students research through reading, conducting interviews, and investigating. They then brainstorm answers or solutions to the driving question. Prototypes are made and tested, ideas vetted by experts in the field, and things are reworked as needed. Final findings are presented by students to an authentic audience and meaningful feedback is gathered.
Students then make decisions about what next steps may be for their ideas. The teacher is the facilitator of the experience but allows the students to self-direct and supports the students to take their ideas to great heights. While 4 or 5 standards will be the focus during the project, it is not uncommon for 20 academic standards to be covered during the unit.
Limestone Community School does not have a religious affiliation. United by a common vision — reimagining elementary education for our community — our supporters, volunteers, staff, children and their families span many beliefs and backgrounds.