When you spend your days with children, you operate in “what if?” mode. As a teacher for many years and a parent, I’ve had the pleasure of starting every morning seeing through their lens, searching for possibility. Children look at a box, and they see more than cardboard. They see a rocket ship to Jupiter, a skyscraper, a dragon’s lair, a corrugated universe of limitless promise. It is through those lenses that we conceptualized and founded Feynman School.
The impetus was to create a school that helps gifted children grow. Understanding that accelerated learners indeed, like all students, face challenges, the task before us was to create an environment that would consistently and thoughtfully engage them while remaining ever open to the questions and pursuits that matter to them. Questions that might seem like diversions, and investigations that would otherwise appear to be tangential distractions are, at their core, what drive our gifted children. In fact, what drives all children. We knew that, no matter what lessons we designed or what materials we presented, our students would take our offerings, deconstruct them, make it their own, and then create new meaning. It required that we, as their educators, be like them. Always seeking. Always open. That is why a STEM- and project-based curriculum would become so fundamental to what we do. It encourages trial and—yes—error. It prompts keener observation and deeper investigation. And, above all, it challenges students and teachers alike to take intellectual and personal risks toward discovery.
It’s funny to look retrospectively when people ask, “So you started an independent school for gifted kids in the midst of a recession? And you built it from nothing?” Well, I like to think that we built it from something. From something bigger than ourselves. From the imperative that was our mission. From the unwavering industry of our teachers. And from the indefatigable hopes and energies of our children.
Feynman School opened in 2009 with eight children, two teachers, one classroom and countless dreams. Our dream was simple. To give them room to grow. Their dreams were complex, tenacious, and boundless—as they are. Today, entering year eight, we are over 100 strong, and I marvel every day at our evolution, at their evolution as these young learners discover new things that they didn’t know yesterday, that we—as collective citizens of the world—didn’t know yesterday. And every morning, I can’t wait to see what they will do next, who they will continue to become, and how they will change the world in profound ways that we can’t even begin to imagine until they, with our guidance and nurturance, say, “Let’s imagine it.”
~Susan Gold, Co-Founder and Head of School
OUR MISSION STATEMENT:
Feynman School helps young gifted students grow. We celebrate each student’s intellectual curiosity and sense of self, promote inquisitive and creative thinking, and foster caring and concern for others. Here, children revel in learning and prepare for full, fulfilling lives.