Why A New Leaf?
A New Leaf School is my dream come true of what elementary school can be. It’s inspired by the brilliant, unique students I taught as an elementary educator and propelled forward by my own children who lit a fire within me to create something different. A New Leaf School is the change that I and so many others wish to see in education.
We believe it is every student's birthright to experience a personally meaningful education that feels exciting and is supported by a community that cares. We believe students reach their fullest potential when they are free to be who they are and empowered to discover what they can do, individually and together.
My wish for my own children is the same as my wish for our students at A New Leaf: that they experience a felt sense of being known and valued for who they are, that they ignite an inner passion for lifelong learning and that they grow into life firmly rooted in the belief that they have limitless potential.
OUR Philosophy & Values
A New Leaf School Concept
We've re-envisioned how elementary-aged students experience school.
A New Leaf expands the Reggio Emilia approach into the elementary grades and integrates best practices and current research from child development, neuroscience and social-emotional learning. We dial up the positive impact of these powerful influences through our intentional system of support, scheduling and ancillaries.
At A New Leaf, school is:
Every child is one of a kind. Interests, learning styles, stages of developing knowledge and skills, personalities and challenges are unique to every individual. Our students learn at the pace and challenge that's right for them without sacrificing today's curriculum standards. Each student's path to progress looks different - that's the point.
True to the longstanding Reggio Emilia approach, we align students' learning with the real world whenever possible, allowing students to explore concepts with complexity and open-endedness. We engage the mind, body and heart, with hands-on, sensorial experiences that allow knowledge to be constructed creatively.
Children, like adults, desire for work to be fulfilling. We are passionate about creating firsthand experiences for students to connect what they are learning to the real world. Making learning come to life through meaningful, real world connections fosters intrinsic motivation, self-esteem and care for community.
As students dive into interest-driven work, we support their growth mindset and work ethic by intentionally increasing their agency over project planning, time management, collaboration within their learning group and choosing materials needed to demonstrate their learning. It becomes increasingly familiar to take risks and learn by doing.
Collaboration, communication and problem solving are crucial for success. Our learning groups provide real, daily practice in each class, between classes and school-wide. Our Director of Social Language and Communication responds to currently developing skills within each class to provide targeted lessons that students can integrate immediately.
Our educators' primary role is that of teacher-researcher. We hold open minds and collaborate with each other to nurture each student's process of growth, determining the right pace and challenge for them across the subjects. We look for opportunities for every student to shine. Our learning support team is here for teachers and parents, too.
say hello to
Kate is our Founder and Director, an educator and parent whose background and experiences pushed her to reenvision how school can bring out the best in children and the adults that love them. Kate has reinvented the wheel of elementary school, reconsidering every aspect bottom to top: from methods of learning, student and staff supports, programming, physical site design and prioritizing the acquisition of 21st century skills for students' fulfillment and success.
Kate believes that the children of today need something different in order to be prepared for a future that will undoubtedly require resilience, creativity, collaboration and an unshakeable belief in self; these lay a strong foundation for today's academic standards.
Heather brings 25 years of speech-language pathology experience to A New Leaf (and we couldn't be happier!). As part of the A New Leaf curriculum, Heather will be serving all students with tailor-made, social language and communication lessons weekly. Additionally, Heather is the Founder of My Path Speech-Language Therapy.
Heather truly believes that every child has a unique learning path that should be celebrated and it is part of her life's work to help individualize support to optimize each child's communication skills along their journey.
Juli brings over 20 years of teaching experience to A New Leaf. Her passion is nurturing children’s curiosity and creativity as they discover their own love of learning. Using STEAM-inspired topics and real world applications, Juli brings reading, writing and math to life in her classroom. In a nutshell, if Miss Frizzle from “The Magic School Bus” series were real, she just might be our Mrs. Rosenbaum.
Juli believes that school should be a place where every child’s ideas and thoughts are respected and valued. As a pivotal member of our Founding Team, Juli is excited to be part of our school that gives all children a chance to shine in their own way. Juli sees her job as an educator as bringing out the best in each child and has been integral in helping build our curricular approach at A New Leaf.