It is our mission to provide a philosophical and practical education for all students, an education that features creativity and inquiry, encourages habitual reading and productivity, as well as self-reflection and original thought. We agree with Socrates that the "unexamined life is not worth living,” and it is our desire to prepare students to live thoughtful and meaningful lives. We are committed to inspiring the love of learning in our students.
This mission can best be accomplished in a school that is a democratic community. As a democratic community, we strive to exemplify the values of democracy: mutual respect, cooperation, empathy, the love of humankind, justice for all, and service to the world.
The James Baldwin School is college preparatory. Our curriculum and pedagogy prepare students for the rigors of college work and motivate them to desire and plan for a higher education. In preparing students for college we believe that we move students toward higher levels of intellectual engagement while they are in high school.
It is our mission, as well, at the James Baldwin School, to provide a haven for students who have previously experienced school as unresponsive to their needs as individuals. We wish for all students to find their voice and to speak knowledgeably and thoughtfully on issues that concern their school, their world. We aid students in this endeavor by personalizing our learning situations, by democratizing and humanizing the school environment, and by creating a “talking culture,” an atmosphere of informal intellectual discourse among students and faculty.
The James Baldwin School is a community, not just a school. A community is a group of people who share common interests, concerns, and values. While we want to cultivate and help you find your unique talents and individual voice, being part of our school is agreeing to share our common ideals and expectations.
Our curriculum and teaching, school culture and ceremonies, rules, regulations, and habits of interaction – inside the classroom and out – are based on the following Core Values:
Respect for Humanity
Respect for Diversity
Respect for the Intellect
Respect for the Truth
Commitment to Peace
Commitment to Justice
Commitment to Democracy