"Good Schools, like good societies and good families, celebrate and cherish diversity"
"The teacher’s task is not to talk, but to prepare and arrange a series of motives for cultural activity in a special environment made for the child."
In just over 40 years, Caedmon has established a wonderful array of cherished school traditions, some old and some just beginning. Here is a sampling:
As new families join our community, they are asked to fill out a Community Awareness Questionnaire, the purpose of which is to learn about the cultural, spiritual, and attitudinal perspectives they are bringing to Caedmon. The most immediate outcome of the survey is the map of the world mounted in the lobby, upon which is displayed the names of all our international children within the nations of their family’s origin. Visitors can see at a glance the incredible international diversity that Caedmon enjoys.
Caedmon children return to school each fall eagerly anticipating the apple-picking field trip, when the entire elementary program is packed into buses and taken to an orchard upstate. They spend an entire day amid the smells and colors of autumn, filling their bags (and their bellies) to bursting with fresh-picked apples of every variety. For days before and afterward, at home and in the classroom, everything is all about apples.
During the holiday season, the Caedmon community comes together for a celebration of giving that is inspired by the Native American “potlatch” traditions. The potlatch tradition recognizes the act of giving as a source of honor and prestige. The elementary children, their teachers, and other adults in the school draw the name of their “potlatch person”. The weeks before the holidays are spent deciding on the perfect gift for their potlatch person - either something created, or a precious possession that is passed on. When the Potlatch Party finally arrives, it is giving, not receiving, that lights up the children’s faces.
The children at Caedmon celebrate the holidays by honoring as many as six holiday traditions from around the world through song. When the Early Program children join in for the sing-along finale, the stage erupts with warmth, color, excitement, and truly multi-spiritual good cheer.
Since it is held on the school premises, this annual fundraiser becomes an event that even the children enjoy, as the lobby level and lunchroom are gradually transformed by elaborate decorations into a thematic wonderland.
The hospitality committee takes it upon itself each spring to thank the Caedmon teachers, on behalf of all the families, for the expertise and devotion they bring to their work with the children. This gourmet meal is an international feast.
The family-driven FACES of Diversity Committee celebrates its own efforts each spring by hosting a potluck feast that features cuisine, beverages, and music from across the cultural spectrum. Caedmon’s generous supply of international families guarantees that the recipes are the “real deal” and the conversation lively.
Each spring the entire Elementary Program prepares for a musical concert that showcases their musical accomplishments from the past year's study.
To celebrate their impending graduation, Upper Level students spend the months of April and May rehearsing for a musical presentation during the final week of June.
With lessons finished for the year, it is time to enjoy some fun in the sun. Elementary children head for a day or sporting events at Asphalt Green. The youngsters in the Early Program find it just as thrilling to share an afternoon all together, picnicking at a nearby park.
Caedmon’s graduation ceremony is a tradition rich with meaning. The event begins with a museum-style display the week before graduation, showcasing the students’ work from the year. The graduates act as docents; they lead their families through the exhibit and explain the work. Next, following a formal procession where each student is presented a lei from Hawaii, each student or group of students presents a project and delivers a speech to their families and fellow students. The Head of School and the Head of the Board of Trustees then presents each student with a diploma. Finally, Kindergarten Book Buddies present gifts to the graduates, the students are welcomed into the Caedmon Alumni Association, and the role of Upper Level is passed on to the next years’ class.