Colorado Academy values community and character. As a school, we emphasize relationships and social emotional learning alongside academics, arts, and athletics to help develop the whole child in each of our students. CA’s sense of community is evident in all three divisions, throughout the school year, and in conversation with any community member from students to parents to faculty.
We know that our Lower School community is at its best when we are learning, playing, working, and eating together. Lunch at CA gives us a little bit of all those ingredients. Chef Alice Waters has said that, “teaching kids how to feed themselves and how to live in a community responsibly is the center of education,” and CA embraces that philosophy every day at lunch.
The ingredients in the Lower School recipe for lunchtime community include:
- Communication: Lower School teachers sit with students and have an opportunity to visit with them in an informal setting. Topics of conversation are never dull, and range from books we are currently reading, to local sports, to sharing about pets, to extreme silliness.
- Relationship Building: Every A-day, the teachers devise new table groups for that A-F day rotation and students sit with that group for an entire A-F day rotation. On the next A day, the teachers create a new table groups. With intentional assigned seating that changes every A-F day rotation, we provide an opportunity for our students to branch out and make new friends within their grade level.
- Exploration: The CA dining hall provides a wide variety of foods for all taste buds, and students encourage one another to try new foods.
- Responsibility and Respect: Lower School students know the dining hall doesn’t clean and reset itself, so they contribute by putting away their trays, wiping down the tables, and pushing in chairs.
- Celebration: Students are extra joyful on Friday dessert days or when they get celebration cookies from an Upper School team’s State victory.
- Connection and Caring: Lunch is a time to say hello to buddies from other grades. Third, Fourth, and Fifth Graders love seeing their younger buddies, and the primary students look forward to lunch with the possibility that they might see and say hello to their older buddies.
- Positivity: Lower School lunch happens in waves, allowing plenty of crossover time for all of the Pre-K to 5th Grade students and teachers to see each other and share smiles, conversation, high fives, and enjoy the togetherness of our community.
At CA’s Lower School, lunch is a time for community building, participation, and celebration. It’s a wonderful example of the best of CA’s school culture in action. Every day, excited (and hungry) students head into the dining hall ready to enjoy lunch with grade-level friends and teachers, where they do so much more than just eat together.