Beyond the Classroom
Just as our academic arts, and athletic curricula spiral intentionally to assure that students grow in positive, healthy ways, we are equally purposeful about emphasizing our Core Values. Qualities such as respect, responsibility, compassion, and civic-mindedness are lived daily and are built into the fabric of Applewild. This aspect of our curriculum has been recognized by several awards for the ways we engage our students in stewardship, including the Parents’ Independent School Network (PIN) most prestigious Outstanding Program Award for Community Service.
Our core values are integrated into our curriculum and come alive in regular, recurring ways that then provide natural opportunities for leadership. Examples include when first graders visit a local Head Start program and share their interest in reading, and third graders connect to their buddies at Arc on a recycling project. Similarly in the Upper School, students are involved with various organizations in the area, on campus cleanup at various times of the year, and participation in the Fitchburg city cleanup each spring. Additional opportunities for learning and service include “Greening the Apple” conservation project, UNICEF, OXFAM, Grandfriends of Burbank Adult Day Care, and food drive activities.
Participation in these efforts is an expectation as students advance in their years at Applewild, providing genuine leadership opportunities that make a difference. In addition, our fifth and eighth graders take on specific leadership roles within their division. Our emphasis on public speaking provides an additional skill all combining to assure that Applewild students have developed competencies as confident, engaged, and participatory citizens – and know that their leadership and their voice matters.
These programs take place during the first two weeks of school and are designed to create a strong community and prepare Upper School students for the year ahead. The 6th Grade trip is a carefully planned outdoor adventure program at the Chewonki Foundation in Wiscasset, Maine. Trips for older students include 7th graders hiking with the Appalachian Mountain Club in New Hampshire, and the 8th Grade trip to Washington, D.C.
Fourth and fifth graders go to Camp Harrington for a day of team building activities. Building upon the skills they’ve developed from Applewild’s PE curriculum, students navigate the ropes course and climbing wall successfully, work together and develop collaborative skills, and return to school ready to excel physically, socially, and academically in the new school year.
Starting in the 7th grade, students are offered the opportunity to work extensively with a teacher in an area where an expressed interest or talent has been shown. By opting out of a season of sports, a student may be chosen to work in the art mentor and furniture mentor programs or the winter play.
For six Fridays in January and February, buses transport interested students in Grades 4 through 8 to Mt. Wachusett for an afternoon of skiing. Parents often join their children at the mountain.