Hello! Welcome to Amity Creek Magnet School. We hope that the following information will paint a colorful picture of our unique school.
Carol Hammett, Principal
"Celebrating the Journey" are words spoken from the heart of Amity Creek Magnet School. You don't need to spend much time at Amity Creek to know that these words are spoken often, with passion and commitment.
Amity Creek, the first of three Bend-LaPine School District's public magnet schools, was granted magnet school status in 1995. One of the School Board's goals is to create a variety of learning options and environments to provide choices for students and families. Because the magnet schools (Amity Creek, Highland, and Westside Village) are public schools and under the auspices of the school district, state and district requirements such as hiring licensed teachers, curriculum offerings, and testing, are much the same as all elementary schools in the district. At Amity Creek, however, the school environment, learning processes, and engagements with families are as unique and varied as are each of the children enrolled in the school.
Amity Creek is a fundamentally different kind of school that is organized around a child-centered approach to learning. This approach is based on the understanding that children construct their own knowledge and that learning is a natural, on-going social process that results from a child's engagement with the world. The school is rooted in the concept of authentic community in which children, parents and staff are equally valued and respected members. The primary function of the teachers is to create a natural learning environment and process by considering the individual needs and interests of each child. At Amity Creek, children experience the freedom and support they need for the exploring, creating, communicating, questioning, and independent thinking that are all so essential to a genuine education.
A Day In The Life Of Amity Creek
What does this look, feel, and sound like? An early morning visit to the school finds a young girl entering the school at about 8:30am. Mom checks in at the office, gives Hailey a quick hug and a kiss and dashes off to work. When 7-year-old Hailey learns that a teacher of the "olders" is in her room, she happily skips down the hall to join her. The children love the fact that every teacher accepts responsibility for every child in the school community. By 8:40am the school is buzzing with excitement. Children meander in clusters rather than lines. "Olders" guide "Youngers" like mother hens. Parents, staff, and children greet one another with hugs (or high-fives!). The sounds are full of energy. School bells or buzzers are noticeably absent. At 8:40am every morning a child rings an old-fashioned brass school bell in the hallway to signal the beginning of Community Time. At 8:45am the entire school community gathers in the gym for Community Time. Eager toddlers-in-training are invited to gather with their older siblings. The daily celebration takes on many faces and is the cornerstone of the day's happenings. The rest of the day unfolds at a very natural pace, with children spending time in homerooms or with other groups of children, inside, and outside. Impromptu walking field trips in and around downtown Bend are not uncommon. Kids' invitations and interest clubs are offered most afternoons. The end of the day is unrushed with teachers and parents chatting in the homerooms. Amity children flourish in their development in many ways that cannot be measured. A warm feeling of family and a strong sense of community are ever-present.
When a child was asked what he felt about his school, he replied, "It is awesome! It is like having a huge family." The child's parent thoughtfully added that parents are made to feel so welcome. "Staff members really embrace the whole family and parents know they are equal partners in their children's education journey. We are invited to help out in anyway we can...no pressure to commit to a schedule." A teacher responded quite candidly, "When I compare this to my years of teaching in a traditional school, this is tons more work. But, the work is so joyful. A true child-centered curriculum brings wonderful surprises everyday. Passionate teachers created the vision for this school in 1991. Teachers who choose to be at Amity today must embrace Amity's philosophy with equal passion, or it simply doesn't work. We get up every morning and go to play...not go to work."