Welcome to Tru; we offer an interactive, inquiry-based education for your child. That is a simple description, but for us it takes a lot of study and effort to make real. As you embark on the search for the school that best matches your values as a parent, we hope you will take the time to think about what kind of learning really matters.
The admissions process at Tru is designed to help you do that. From our school tour to the application itself, we emphasize the process of reflection. “Learning does not come from our experiences,” Dewey wrote. “It comes from reflecting on those experiences.”
There are no shortcuts. You are embarking on a journey with your child to discover more about yourselves and the goals for your life!
We are happy to join you in part of that process. Our tours are limited in size, so we encourage you to register early. Starting October 1, we will begin accepting applications for the 2018-19 school year. If you are wondering how you can afford a private school, read about our tuition assistance program. Be sure and read carefully about our program and practices. Also, by signing up for our mailing list, you will periodically receive more in-depth information about our practices.
Excerpts from our regular parent newsletter, Integrations
"While discussing trees being cut down for paper, children got curious about the other reasons they are being cut down. We went to the library and asked for books on deforestation to better understand what it really means and what is our role in it. During one of our regular morning walks, we discovered that one of the trees right across our classroom was missing! We stood around it and wondered about the reasons behind its disappearance. Luckily, we found a city worker named Joe who informed us that the tree had actually fallen and had to be removed. We came to know that Joe is a “tree doctor,” as he taught us about spotting dead or “sick” trees. He also told us that nobody can cut a tree without permission in the city of Palo Alto."
"During some careful handwriting around our school rule “Practice Kindness,” one student remarked that it is much easier to say something mean than kind. My response was that this can be true for some people. We then thought of people to whom kindness comes more easily. Suddenly we recognized that we were listing only girls. Then the question arouse, are girls kinder than boys? This discussion lead us into the investigation of our brains. We learned the differences between male and female brains and what each brain feels inclined to do."
The strong bonds that have been forming between our children are getting even stronger as we get into the routine of rehearsing for our science exhibition. The children are practicing their lines together, supporting each other during rehearsals, and even discussing strategies that can help them stay focused and deliver a stellar performance. Our classroom has become a community of friends where each person has had opportunities to develop their strengths and work on something that needs improvement. We constantly remind ourselves to take care of each other’s needs and choose our words and actions according to the situation.
The children like to be “letter detectives” and they love looking for words that begin with the letter of the week. Whether in our morning message, in a book they read or write, or in the science exhibition script, when the children spot a letter that we have studied, they point it out enthusiastically.
When we read the scene about a great personality like Wangari Maathai, who in the face of opposition carved a way of opportunity for hundreds of poor Kenyans, the children made statements like, “She is a hero!” One of them commented that the houses in the Kenyan village look really small. We studied various types of houses and how different types of homes convey the financial status of the person living there. While driving to San Francisco for our field trip, one of the younger friends pointed out that some of the houses in Palo Alto look more like where a duchess could live rather than the villagers of Kenya.
On a rainy day we showed the students a video of last year’s performance. Watching oneself on screen can be intimidating. Some students covered their eyes at first. However, everyone had to look in the end, because after all it is THEY who are on the screen and they can’t help but watch themselves. Afterwards I asked the students to share one thing they noticed they did very well and one thing they would like to do differently.
Together we wrote a reflection on our global warming experiment. After several repeats of the experiment we have seen that the glass jar that is covered with a plastic seal heats up consistently 1-2.5 degrees higher. At first the students were disappointed, thinking that this difference wasn’t very much. However, after watching a video showing the effects that an increase of 1-2 degrees has on our planet, the students felt very differently.