When I have the opportunity to describe what The Circle School is all about, there is always a whole menu of answers to pick from that could sum up “who we are”. I could say that we are a connected community of parents, students, teachers, and staff, along with everyone before us who has been a part of our school in a long line stretching back more than 50 years. Or I could talk about (and often do) our beautiful schoolhouse and campus filled with flourishing gardens and brightly colored artwork and the shadows of countless memories tucked into every little corner. We have teachers that are always learning and laughing and creating and sharing their incredible gifts with our whole community. We have enthusiastically engaged parents and extended family members who collectively put in thousands of hours of their time each year to help our school community thrive. And our students? They are Changemakers. Every single one. Not at some undefined point in the future or when they grow up and become adults in the world, but right here and right now.
Changemakers, your thoughts and dreams and actions inspire me to think harder, dream bigger, and gather my courage each morning knowing that I can make a difference in the world with my words and choices. You are the ones who teach me how to do it every day. Every time you listen to the other person’s side in a disagreement, every time you speak up in honesty, empathy, and peace; you are re-making our world into a better and brighter place for everyone.
With love and light, Ms. Rachel (Education Coordinator)
Our Mission Statement
Through the shared ethics and knowledge of parents and educators, the Circle School cultivates a thriving and compassionate community while individualizing education, fostering a lifelong love of learning, and providing the confidence and leadership skills needed to become impactful citizens of the world. As a community we seek to model behavior that is neither demeaning nor discriminatory. Our goal is to foster healthy attitudes and global citizenship.
The Circle School is committed to the development of the whole child by cultivating the body, mind, heart, and spirit. Through its curriculum, teaching styles and programs, our environment:
Introduces children to the wisdom of the ages and diverse cultures
Encourages children to develop and express their own creativity
Guides children in developing open minds
Fosters the development of creative leadership skills through exploring novel methods
Teaches respectful conflict resolution
The Circle School does not issue grades. Each teacher makes assessments based on observations with input from other teachers received during weekly staff meetings and throughout the year. Each student will be discussed within the faculty meetings several times a year. Along with the teacher’s personal observations, educational benchmarks from Core Knowledge and the Seven Fundamental Skills propounded by the school's founder, Isabeth Hardy, (referenced in the section below) serve as guidance for our assessments.
At least three times a year, parents and teachers meet formally to assess progress. The first of these meetings, the Goal Setting conference, takes place during the first semester and serves as an opportunity for the child’s family and teacher to agree upon expectations and goals.
Throughout the year, student activities will be documented and kept in a portfolio of ongoing classroom work. Parents are encouraged to review student work. Parents are welcome to schedule meetings with teachers throughout the school year to discuss progress in addition to the goal-setting and narrative meetings.
The Circle School's curriculum is inspired by the work of Nicholas Roerich and a synthesis of methods and insights taken from the work of many educators.
Our teachers are not bound by legislature approved curriculum and standardized testing. This leaves them free to teach subjects with passion and inspire each student. Play is also a very important part of life at The Circle School. On average, all classes enjoy 4 hours per week of recess in addition to P.E. and Yoga-- to move, socialize, and just be free.
The Peace Banner
Our school logo is the Banner of Peace, a symbol of our principles and our commitment.
Wherever the Banner is displayed, it recognizes great achievements. It encourages the individual to strive to fulfill his highest potential, beautifying all aspects of life; it encourages each person to take responsibility for the evolution of the planet; it signifies the peace-builder; and it symbolizes the transformation of the individual and of society. Additional information about Nicholas Roerich can be found at the Nicholas Roerich Museum website.
"Where there is Peace, there is Culture; where there is Culture, there is Peace." - Nicholas Roerich
Ashoka Changemaker School
In fall 2016, The Circle School received the international designation of being an Ashoka Changemaker school (www.ashoka.org). Ashoka Changemaker Schools enable all students to become changemakers—young people who have the skills and confidence to change the world for the good of all. We held our first school-wide Changemaker meeting, involving all students and teachers, in the Spring of 2017. We are the only Ashoka Changemaker School in San Antonio and are exploring new ways to facilitate the development of young Changemakers. In the fall of 2019 we introduced a Changemaker Elective program into our curriculum to allow our students to make choices about the skills they would like to learn and utilize to change the world.