September 3, 2021

“Why” is one of the most powerful and empowering words in the English language. When students enter Kindergarten, they possess a natural curiosity and a proclivity towards wondering why? At the Campus School students are comfortable asking “why?”. This is because they are known, valued, challenged and nurtured in ways that develop their innate curiosity, producing students who are equipped to be successful academicians and also prepared to be informed and active citizens of their communities and our world.

So why would you enroll your child in an outstanding independent elementary school affiliated with a world class liberal arts college? And why would Smith College want to have a lab school on their campus?

Both are excellent questions. The Campus School offers a progressive, constructivist education which is informed by pedagogical research. Our close relationship with the Department of Education and Child Development at Smith College ensures that cutting edge trends in education are shared and put into practice at our school. Children grow and develop in small classes where their teachers understand and appreciate who they are as both learners and as young people. Our students learn by doing and by creating, by trying and failing and trying again, by applying what they are learning to real-life situations, and by constantly asking “why?”.

Teachers, students and parents at the Campus School are able to leverage the incredible facilities and impressive human capital of Smith College. We have regular access to the art museum, the botanic gardens, the state-of-the-art Neilson Library, the astronomical observatory, and the design thinking lab among other resources. Smith faculty and staff from across the college collaborate with our teachers to enhance lesson plans and student learning. We attend poetry readings, display artwork, participate in concerts, enjoy visits from professors and mystery readers in our classrooms, and conduct research on campus.

As a lab school, our mission also includes preparing the next generation of outstanding teachers by providing a space for observation and active student teaching. For 95 years, the college has benefited from having the Campus School serve as a lab school, providing opportunities for Smith students to apply the theory and research they have studied, and the lessons gleaned through observation of our outstanding teachers, while honing their teaching skills. Student teachers are a wonderful resource for us, offering extra eyes, ears, hands, ideas, creativity, perspectives, enthusiasm, and compassion to help educate our students. 

With all of this in mind, why wouldn’t you want to learn more about the Campus School? I encourage you to peruse our website, and talk with other parents, but the best way to answer why is to come for a visit to speak with our Admissions Director and to see, hear and feel what makes the Campus School so unique and special.