The Paideia School

High School Culture

Students at lunch

Even before formal schools existed, people argued about what makes a good education. There are many definitions and they are not, of course, all consistent; it also follows that a good education for one person might not be equally valuable to another. We do not pretend that Paideia has resolved this debate, but we do emphasize what we believe are important characteristics of education at our school. One involves challenge: the challenge of demanding academics, rich opportunities in the arts, and learning to be an engaged member of a community. Another is the development of self-knowledge, interests, identity, and perspective as well as ability to speak up. This is best done in an environment that is personal and has lots of things going on. A third characteristic of education at Paideia is that it is much more individualized than at most high schools.

The academic program of a school is a mixture of requirements, offerings, expectations, and choices. At Paideia the program can at first look imposing because there is so much to do, but all students have advisors who help them navigate and make full use of the curriculum. While there are academic requirements set by the school, as well as courses of study strongly recommended by colleges, hardly anyone proceeds through the high school the same way. Students bring to school varying backgrounds, abilities, and interests. The school does whatever possible to match those interests and abilities with the appropriate course of study. At Paideia students are greeted, treated, and taught as individuals.