Paideia's philosophy is based on the belief that schools can be informal and individualized, yet still educate well. We believe that a quality education acknowledges the innate curiosity of children and their desire to understand and master their environment. Because children have different interests and learning styles, and because they progress at different rates, we take considerable care to tailor our program to the talents and needs of each child. We think that our concern for intellectual achievement and discipline is compatible with personal consideration of needs of each child and with an informal school environment.
In addition to teaching basic skills and content areas, Paideia promotes development in art, music, and physical education. Students throughout the school take classes with one of five art teachers and four music teachers. Elementary students take physical education twice a week with one of two teachers. High school students take art and music on an elective basis. In recent years our students have been successful in photography and art competitions, and several have gone on to art school. We have had a large number of students participate in the selective All-State Chorus.
Effective teaching requires continual evaluation to determine student progress. This is especially important in a curriculum in which students are placed according to their academic needs. In addition to the evaluation by the teacher, the school also uses standardized tests, especially in reading, language, and math. While we do not gear the curriculum or set goals for a particular student according to what is measured on standardized tests, such tests are a helpful tool in evaluation. Because of the school program and the educational orientation of Paideia families, our students, not surprisingly, usually do very well on standardized tests.