Academic Excellence

Our mission is to nurture children’s natural love of learning and to cultivate Academic Excellence and Emotional Intelligence by building confidence, creativity, compassion and inquisitive minds.

We support our students by developing and being responsive to each child’s growth in optimal well-being. Learning at Summa is an interactive process that values imagination, creativity, and the joy of life. We draw forth the intrinsic motivation of each child so that learning is the best it can be—an enjoyment driven by curiosity.

Summa’s educational approach is grounded in the best theory and practices developed by leading educators, past and present. Our methods are child-centered, experiential, emergent, project, and inquiry-based. Emphasis is placed on the learner’s relationship with his or her world, on whole-child development, customized learning, and developmental appropriateness.

Families are supported at Summa, and families support Summa Academy. Strong family relationships promote resilience and success in students.

Vertical Curriculum Chart

Welcome to Summa Academy’s Vertical Curriculum in its BETA version (because we see it as a work in progress). It lays out the curriculum components by developmental stage and subject area. Interested in Literacy? Simply follow the Literacy chart from BodyBeing to IdealBeing to see how each skill builds on the one before it, and prepares for the one after. Skills mastered are cumulative and the early ones should be considered part of the later ones, just further developed. For example, the skills acquired in the scientific approach in BodyBeing are carried forward through the years after, just in a more complex way, they develop with the child.  A curriculum item named in an early stage may be revisited in a later stage if necessary but it is not repeated in the chart. This also does not take into account that students may enter this curriculum in the middle, in which case it may be necessary to go back to some previous skills with that particular student.

This is an Emergent Curriculum. Emergent curricula have two defining qualities. 1) Both substance and teaching mode are continually evaluated and adjusted for optimal learning. 2) Individual learning styles and needs are accommodated. The Emergent Curriculum requires flexibility and adaptation. In this simple chart, it is impossible to name the many ways we approach myths, for example. Not only are there many ways to approach myth, but which ones chosen depend on the students participating. It would take an entire book to name the specifics attendant to each curriculum category. Therefore we hope the reader will have a sense of the field implied by the simple bullets, knowing that the substance, teaching mode and learning styles emerge within the classroom context.

All curricula operate according to the capacities of the student’s developmental moment.  Thus, curriculum remains relevant, interesting, and has the highest probability of creating a lasting impact.

You can read it here: