What is JP Green School?
JP Green School is a small program for kids ages 4-10 for the study of sustainability. We follow the “self-directed learning” model which resembles summer camp in tone, more than a traditional school. Our work focuses extensively, but not exclusively, on teaching basic science, organic gardening, cooking, and creative building.
Music, the visual arts, mathematics and science are all be incorporated into the curriculum, but in non-traditional ways: all disciplines are related directly to the tangible work the students are doing in the garden and on the building site.
No courses — Students learn by actively engaging in work, rather than studying in traditional classroom setting.
No formal classrooms — We have two indoor rooms for rainy days, cooking, and down time. We spend most of our time in a large garden. A fleet of scooters are our “transportation” for field trips and exploring the neighborhood.
No one-hour schedule — The day is not divided into subjects, but based on experiential workshops, work periods, and play.
No grades — We check in with parents after each class about how the day went, and how their child is doing. Longer conversations can be scheduled any time.
We are non-coercive. Although many interesting opportunities for learning are offered daily, the students can always opt-out and choose to do other things (staying on site). We believe that children only learn when they are ready and willing to engage. We never force a child to do anything. The only thing we require is work-periods to maintain the garden and classroom–a way of showing respect and care for the school.
What are the benefits of going to JP Green School?
A safe space for unconventional learners: A blend of structure and freedom, mentoring and self-driven study characterizes the atmosphere. The two mentors work hard to get to know each student and to be available to guide them as much as they wish and require.
Learning through doing: All our work involves tactile, direct experience of the natural world. Children learn in the age-old way that humans are evolved to learn–through direct experience.
Does the school provide credits towards any particular grade?
It does not. We will provide written evaluations and letters of recommendation for students at any time they are needed for entrance into other programs.
Is this an accredited school?
We are not an accredited school, and will not be for the foreseeable future. If you send your child to JPGS, he/she will be legally considered a home schooler. This is common, legal and fairly unproblematic in Massachusetts. For further information, refer to the Massachusetts General Laws Relevant to Homeschooling.
Youth may legally leave school at age 16 in Massachusetts. After that there is no need to register them as homeschoolers.
How is JP Green House related to this school?
JP Green House is an educational nonprofit created for the purpose of teaching green building and sustainability, and promoting activism on climate change. We function as “demonstration home for urban sustainable living”, hosting tours, workshops, and acting as a hub for the local climate movement. JP Green School is a program of JP Green House.
What is the location of the school?
We are located at Hope Central Church in Jamaica Plain, near the Green Street Station on the Orange line. Contact us at [email protected] for a visit to our site.