Our values

Our core beliefs guide every decision made at Prairie Song Academy. We believe in:


Every person is worthy of our love, respect, kindness, and understanding. We treat our students and families with dignity, and teach our students to treat others in the same way.


Children are naturally curious and motivated to learn about the world in which they live. It is our role as caregivers and teachers to work as a team to facilitate their learning, focusing on their demonstrated needs and interests.


Children are highly capable, and we encourage their freedom and independence within limits that keep them safe. We teach them the relationship between responsibilities and privileges, and allow them to experience the natural, reasonable consequences of their choices in our learning community.


Children and adolescents need a community of supportive peers and trusted adults, and we foster positive relationships among all members of our learning community through explicit lessons in socio-emotional skills and careful nurturing of a safe, warm learning environment. We believe each student has a unique role to play in our community, and guide them in discovering that role.

Interest-Led Learning

Students learn best in a mixed-age classroom, benefiting from friendships with children who are both younger and older than they are. In this environment we allow children to work at their own level, in their zone of proximal development and focusing on their interests, rather than requiring every child of the same age to work toward identical academic goals.


Constant, conscious efforts must be made to affirm the inherent worth, dignity, and achievements of marginalized people in a society that consistently devalues them. Each area of our curriculum highlights the perspectives and experiences of BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other oppressed people.

Compassionate Assessment

Learning can be assessed in a variety of ways, and progress and mastery may be demonstrated without the use of standardized testing. Teachers will use informal assessment methods to track student progress. Teachers and caregivers will communicate about the child’s on-site and off-site learning, and make decisions together about any formal assessments. We believe standardized testing should be offered no more than once per year, and never before third grade.

Civic Engagement

Our school exists as one piece of the larger community of Kirksville, and as one small piece of our world-wide community. We encourage conscious, positive engagement with our local community, including community service with our students. We also believe students should learn to think beyond our city, and caregivers and teachers should help guide them in finding their place in the world.


We bear responsibility for helping to protect our planet. We use sustainable products whenever possible, sourced from companies with similar goals and practices.

Equity and Accessibility

Excellent, individualized, inclusive education should be available to all who desire it for their children. We commit to significant community fundraising to support our sliding scale for tuition.

Do our values resonate with yours?

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