Field experiences in general are an integral part of the curriculum here at Unquowa. In recognition of the role museums play in extending our school’s walls and resources—their impressive exhibitions, their thoughtful programming, and their passionate staff—our school has entered into a more formal collaboration with the three institutions below that includes the creation of curricular projects by museum staff and Unquowa faculty that both extend our curriculum in authentic ways and allow us to take advantage of museum exhibition and collection resources. To solidify this collaboration, families of The Unquowa School hold membership to each museum, allowing them and their children to take full advantage of weekend and summer programming that connects to and extends beyond the school day.
The Fairfield Museum and History Center
The Fairfield Museum and History Center believes in the power of history to inspire the imagination, stimulate thought and transform society. We connect people around the complex history of Fairfield and neighboring communities so that together we may shape a more informed future. visit website
The Connecticut Audubon Center of Fairfield
The Connecticut Audubon Society’s scientists, educators, Citizen Scientists, and volunteers work to preserve birds and their environments in Connecticut. Our work includes sanctuary management, advocacy, environmental education and activities at our Centers, scientific studies, and our Connecticut State of the Birds project. visit website
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Founded by Larry Aldrich in 1964, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is dedicated to fostering the work of innovative artists whose interpretations of the world around us serve as a platform to encourage creative thinking. visit website
The Progressive Education Lab
The Progressive Education Lab is a teacher education program formed by The Unquowa School in partnership with The Cambridge School of Weston, The Putney School and The Calhoun School. Funded in part by an E.E. Ford Foundation Educational Leadership Grant, this program provides a two-year fellowship in experiential teacher training in progressive education to young people who have completed undergraduate school and wish to explore teaching as a possible career path. It also reinforces best practice and reflective growth in each school’s own faculty, who train to serve as mentors to the bright young fellows who will become the next generation of creative, cutting-edge teachers in both our schools and the wider teaching world. Visit the PEL website.
Sport Hill Farm
Source of much of our organic produce and destination for many classroom planting and harvesting trips during the school year and during our Summer Farm Camp, Sport Hill Farm is truly part of the Unquowa campus. Owner Patti Popp has made a special effort to create a setting that is conducive to learning and safe for children of all ages to experience the magic of planting, caring for and harvesting the food we eat. Partner groups of older and younger students visit the farm on an average of once a season in the fall and spring. Summer campers spend each morning there. Visit the Sport Hill Farm website.
Mind and Life Institute
Call to Care (C2C) is an educational research initiative of the Mind and Life Institute which aims to address the limited attention in our educational world for cultivating care. The C2C program is imbued with MLI’s core principles of honoring local values, respecting and empowering educators and students, and supporting community. The design reflects a developmentally appropriate, culturally aware, systems-based approach. Partner schools, such as Unquowa, located throughout the United States and globally in countries such as Bhutan, Israel and Vietnam are currently working with MLI to develop their C2C curriculum.
Members of our faculty have been part of the two-year professional development and classroom implementation program of C2C, operating with a common framework. The framework is built on a foundation of conceptual and empirical research in socio-emotional learning (SEL) and contemplative teaching and learning. The framework is organized around three integrated modes of care: receiving care, cultivating self-care, and extending care. The three modes of care framework recognizes the relational nature of care and its foundational role in learning, health and well-being, and our ethical development. Visit the Mind and Life Institute website
Inner Resilience Program
Since 2013, The Inner Resilience Program has been in partnership with our school to guide both the implementation and ongoing growth of our school’s mindfulness initiative for students, teachers and parents.
Executive Director, Linda Lantieri runs a year-long training series for parents each year from November through March, and serves on a steering committee to oversee the ongoing, thoughtful incorporation of mindfulness techniques and related social-emotional activities to classrooms, advisory and homerooms in ways that encourage focus and reduce stress. Visit the Inner Resilience website
Chamber Music Central
The Unquowa School is happy to have become the summer home of Chamber Music Central’s Summer Festival. Each July, the Chamber Music Central Summer Festival offers intermediate and advanced pianists, string and woodwind players a chance to study and perform in chamber groups with other musicians at a similar level. The CMC faculty are fine musicians in their own right and especially gifted in working with young musicians, bringing out the best in each student in a challenging yet supportive way. Groups sharpen their skills through coaching sessions, rehearsals, solo opportunities, sight reading exercises and theory classes. Chamber Music Central also offers Master Classes taught by distinguished guest artists. Each session ends with a gala concert of all student ensembles. Visit the CMC website.