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The Gift of a Cushman Education

We are so fortunate to be able to offer our children a comprehensive educational experience during the many hours they spend with us each day, one that extends beyond the rich academics. Even though instilling a strong and appropriately challenging academic foundation at each grade level with character development at the forefront is imperative, enrichment programming contributes as well to significant differences in the adults our children become. Tremendous thought and strategic planning goes into delivering a dynamic, innovative and inspiring educational journey that is meant to be engaging and enjoyable for our students along the way. We want them to love coming to school! Our programming cultivates positive attitudes, strong character, creative and divergent thinking and problem solving, an appreciation for the arts, healthy physical activity (often outdoors in the fresh air) and a desire in our students to make a difference in the world.

Our educational landscape has changed. Our youth are at the forefront of navigating a world in which global citizenship will be in the forefront, and it’s our job to prepare them in relevant unique ways. Canned lessons with results measured in absolutes are not to our students’ benefit. Research consistently proves that today’s educators must teach children how to inquire, interact with the world, and find solutions to complex problems using their imagination through collaboration and effective communication. Children do not gain those critical abilities or reach their greatest potential through focusing on standardized testing and an overload of work that prevents them from real-life, apprenticeship-style learning, as well as project-based learning with design thinking, classroom presentations, assemblies and oratories. Through their performances, our students are challenged to learn lines and deliver their parts with eloquence and poise on stage in front of what can be a daunting number in the audience. How many adults struggle with public speaking? Most Cushman graduates excel at it!

The visual arts projects that your children bring home involve creativity, dexterity and imagination. If you want to understand how the visual arts requires great problem solving skills, ask Susan Silver, our Visual Arts Director! The works of art that our children bring home are treasures to many families and illuminate our campus at various events, one such being the annual Gallery Walk in January. Our children take such pride in their artwork. We should all take the time to pause in our busy lives and appreciate beauty in our environment. Cushman students are encouraged to do this and to express themselves in a variety of artistic mediums.

Developmentally appropriate play is so important for not only our primary aged students but for all children. Actually, free time for flexibility of thought, the acquisition of negotiation skills, and the development of the sensory system is increasingly more beneficial to all students. Increased focus and attention on analytical tasks is maximized when growing bodies and minds are given a chance to move, to play, to express and to create.

How many of life’s greatest inventions have evolved through tinkering? Our Innovation Center is a hub for that kind of opportunity. The 2016 Florida Kindergarten Council (FKC) Conference in which I attend every year with multiple Heads of School is themed “The Art of Tinkering.” As we continue to evolve the Innovation Center, programming will include developing your children’s entrepreneurial mindsets. The Cushman School is in the forefront of providing innovative programming to our students!

Much that I have mentioned so far is a part of our weekly programming within the school day. This does not include the electives and/or clubs that offer an array of additional options.

It’s a shame that so much of this kind of essential programming is eliminated in the public education sector. Here at The Cushman School, it is our job to ensure your children are given the appropriate and engaging learning opportunities, the tools, the time and inspiration to be happy and successful adults in the various fields they pursue.

As always, thank you for choosing The Cushman School and for partnering with us in educating your children.

– Arvi Balseiro, Head of School

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