Kino’s mission is to provide a school where students are given both the responsibility and the freedom that lie at the heart of being a citizen in a democratic society: a school where learning, creativity, respect for others, and community thrive and where students of all abilities succeed.
Maybe the most important part of our philosophy is the self-evident fact that each child is a unique individual, with his or her own history, strengths, and needs. You can’t run a school based on a prearranged set of uniform policies and, at the same time, say that children are unique.
Instead, our philosophy is a set of basic beliefs that acts as a compass to guide our daily practice. It is a starting point. At Kino, we have expressed these basic beliefs in our convictions and assumptions about students, learning, and schooling.
Another important idea (maybe this is the most important one) is that teaching should be based on what is best for the child.*
Just as doctors have a precept to do no harm, teachers should have as a fundamental principle – a kind of Hippocratic oath for teachers – that they try to do the right thing for that kid – that specific, real person they are teaching at that moment.
That being said, we also believe:
*Doesn’t that go without saying? Look, though, at the decisions made about schools and children by districts, states, and national agencies, decisions based on financial considerations, political trends, “economic competitiveness,” accountability, and bureaucratic empires, not on what is best for the child.