Open & Affirming
Turning Sun welcomes ALL types of families and individuals. Our school is open and affirming for all ethnicities, faiths, orientations, gender identities and expression. To maximize inclusion, we build our year around seasonal celebrations rather than specific religious or cultural holidays. We strive to create an environment free of bias which demonstrates equality for all. Blue is not just for boys and pink is not just for girls, and our bathrooms are for everyone. Each year we celebrate “Differences Day,” when we focus on the differences that make each one of us unique and special.
In our classrooms, our students can escape the marketing influences which have followed them since birth. To do so, we discourage commercial characters in classrooms or attire so that they do not dominate our play and learning. As a result, our art, imaginative play, and classroom discussions can develop organically and be truly driven by the minds of our students.
Environments That Inspire
Even our indoor spaces are designed to be like the outdoors: neutral, natural, and relaxing. Our classrooms all have many windows which provide generous amounts of natural light and constantly invite our students to return outside to play in nature. Without overhead fluorescent lights beaming down on them, our students can experiment daily with how various items react to specialty light tables/boxes and projectors provided in every classroom. We also minimize plastics in our classrooms and instead choose natural furnishings and materials.
Connected to Nature
One of our inspirations is Richard Louv's book Last Child in the Woods which warns about "nature deficit disorder." So our campuses feature special outdoor spaces in our playgrounds, gardens, and forests for our students to explore, listen, play, hike, collect, dig, and build outside daily.
Outdoors Every Day
We take our students outside every day unless weather conditions seem dangerous (e.g. lightning). Even when it rains, we are outside in raincoats and boots. Mother Nature is an invaluable teacher and by playing, hiking, collecting, and gardening outside, our students enjoy daily healthy exercise and develop an appreciation for nature and our beautiful planet. Everyone is allowed to get messy at Turning Sun, so children often go home in their change of clothes, but always with a wonderful story to tell.
Our students care about their world as much as we do and immersion in nature inspires our students to be good stewards of our environment in order to preserve it for the future. Together we study pollution and work together to find ways to keep our planet clean and healthy for the future. We minimize our trash and use of plastics, and we recycle and re-purpose as much as possible. We compost our scraps, plant seeds in our organic gardens, and learn how food is grown and prepared for delicious enjoyment and nourishment.
Snacks are currently provided by class parents but will be provided by Turning Sun starting August 2018. Snacks are simple, fresh, and whole and served family style so that students learn to share and try new foods. Fruits and vegetables from the farmer's market or beans and corn chips are some of the children's favorites. Families currently provide their own lunches daily. To maximize safety, classrooms are nut-free and individual allergies are posted in every classroom and considered before any food enters the classroom.