MORRISTOWN, NJ - At Unity Charter School, the focus on sustainability makes them unique, but how and why they teach it defines their distinction. Their educational philosophy is focused on the development of the whole child, academic, social and emotional.  It’s approached in an immersive way that fosters the development of confident, capable global citizens and 21st century leaders.

One way this is achieved is through their elective courses.  Electives are courses that all students take part in.  During electives, you might peek into a classroom where students are creating artwork with recycled materials, standing on one leg in tree pose, or taking photography with celebrity photographers.  As you walk into the room and sit down, it might be difficult to determine who the teacher is.  Of course the adults in the room are easy to spot, but frequently a middle school student will be leading the discussion or activity, brainstorming service projects, teaching chess, or turn keying subject matter expertise they may have acquired.  You might also notice that there are students of different grades and ages working together on the task at hand.  Welcome to our elective groups, Unity Charter School’s multi-aged, student-chosen learning experience.

Here’s how it works:  Students, community members, or teachers submit ideas for an interest group and offer a brief description of the activities involved.  Once the list is generated, students select their top three choices.  From those picks, students are placed into a group for the five- or six-week cycle.  Groups can be run by students (even in primary grades), parents, grandparents, teachers or by volunteers from the community.  Activities can be sports, volunteer groups, science and technology or performance based.  The goal is to promote well-rounded students, introduce them to a passion they didn’t know they had or connect them with a mentor.

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The best part about electives is that they are student driven, student selected, and at times, student directed.  Some of the best-received interest group ideas come from the youngest students in the school.  It is very empowering for students to come up with an idea and see it through to fruition.  Some students just enjoy participating in the activities, and that is great too.

Unity Charter School is a tuition-free, public school in Morris Township that offers a unique approach to education for students from Kindergarten to 8th Grade throughout New Jersey. Enrollment is open to all New Jersey residents.

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December 4th, 2019: 9:00am & 7:00pm

February 20, 2020: 7:00pm