WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2013

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/148623

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Page 171 of 211

COURTESY OF THE TREMONT SCHOOL education "an inclusive community of students" what, when, why, or how?" she asks. Students are quick to respond, one playing with a stop watch, another eating a yogurt, and a third knitting Students display their Certificates of Participation in the Tremont School's Geography Bee in sunglasses as she responds. As the conversation somehow seamlessly shifts to the executive function skills of the brain, Ms. Alberg suggests "We wanted a different academic setting," says Jill Walker, "one that students take a quick stretch, roll their heads, and, after asking them to was socially more diverse than a lot of the private schools around here. return to their seats, invites a student to step up to the board to help We wanted a school that paid attention to the social piece, where kids diagram the frontal lobe. could be successful as opposed to getting by." According to Tremont School founder David Vaughn, this commu- So they began putting together the Tremont School, a school built nity skills class helps students develop important 21st-century skills around the Collaborative Learning Project, a curriculum develop- that include effective communicating, working in diverse groups, ment initiative they also formed that puts the focus on each student's organization, and planning. It's an integral part of the Tremont learning, with instruction in academic and life skills. School's project-based curriculum which, according to school litera- School informational material calls the school's multi-disciplinary, ture, aims "to support the social, emotional, and academic develop- project-based model The Living Curriculum. "The Living Curriculum ment of an inclusive community of students." takes a highly personalized approach to education that focuses on our students' strengths, interests, and individual learning styles. The pri- founding, an idea that first took seed when Vaughn and his wife, mary goal of the curriculum is to promote the intrinsic understanding Janice, as well as Natick residents Ed and Jill Walker, began to consider of the material through a guided discovery process that is interdiscipli- the academic future of their children Emily and Gus, then second- nary in nature and hands-on in approach. Collaborative exercises are graders. The families had tried special-education programs in the pubWe l l e s l e y We s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 3 That social piece is one of the driving forces behind the school's woven into the daily schedule for each student, encouraging explo- lic schools but did not find the individualized support they needed ration, engaged participation, and problem solving." until sending their children to the Tobin School in Natick. Though a good fit, the Tobin School ended in the fifth grade, compelling the tinue to add a grade each year until the twelfth grade is complete. families to craft their own solution. 170 The school opened with fifth and sixth grade in 2011 and will con- Housed these first few years in a church that is under construction,

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