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 173 of 211

Tremont does not present as a traditional private school. Classes are comprised of mixed grades. Meetings are called in makeshift rooms. Children chat freely to adults in the halls and work unfettered in class. Absent are the large playing fields and state-of-theCOURTESY OF THE TREMONT SCHOOL art facilities of a well-endowed, traditional At Tremont School, games are fun and also effective educational tools school. But that same small, make-do environment is part of what makes Tremont unique, creating what founder David Vaughn calls the experiential, project-based learning environment that is a defining characteristic of the school. Small classes — 12 to 15 per grade — and low teacher-student ratios not only allow for individualized instruction but also facilitate collaborative problem-solving. Integral to that is the way students organize their weekly work schedules based on contracts they've created. Those contracts are tailored plans that students develop with a teacher. During daily contract time, students decide which assignments they tackle when and with whom, giving students ownership of their schedule and how they allot their time. That autonomy is one of the reasons Beth Doyle Bean, parent to a sixth grader, is so enthusiastic about the school. "She has ownership of what she does with the contracts," We 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 Doyle Bean explains. "She likes to be able to choose when she does the easy work and when she does the tough stuff. She said to me last night that she needs to figure out a better way to do her math homework because she 172

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