Social-Emotional Learning and Community Service


Guiding Principles:
  • Alta Vista School is a community of respect, kindness and integrity
  • We explore how our individual brains work to create emotions and engage with people and things around us
  • We seek to foster positive human qualities and a cohesive and caring community 
  • We embrace and teach community and a sense of service with our students, starting with our AVS community and working our way out in a concentric circle rubric
  • We partner with local non-profits and charitable organizations

At Alta Vista, we place a strong emphasis on the development of character, asking our students to be kind, respectful, and proud of all their actions, and to take responsibility in their communities around them. That includes individual responsibility, cooperation with peers, and tools for effective and peaceful conflict resolution. We have adopted MindUP™, social-emotional curriculum rooted in cognitive neuroscience that teaches students about how our brains work (anatomy and function) and how they can positively influence their own brain development.

Building a strong sense of community is an integral part of Alta Vista School for all of us – students, faculty, families. An important part of our curriculum is learning to be a contributing community member – at Alta Vista and beyond. We know these learned traits act as a moral valence that will serve our Alta Vista students well in school and throughout life.

Each of our students has a community/classroom job for which they are responsible (rotating each week). Additionally, our students are engaged in service projects focused on our greater community for which they (not adults) are the contributors.

A few examples of our Community Service efforts:

Schools Helping Schools: AVS supports Chacaya School in Guatemala:



Making peanut butter & jelly sandwiches with the Salvation Army to feed the homeless:



Making dog biscuits for an Alta Vista Adventure with the SPCA:



Trick-or-treat for UNICEF (the kids exceeded the target!):



Collecting coins for a Bangladeshi girl to attend school through our alliance with Room to Read.