About Us

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  • AboutUs_overview

    Welcome to Touchstone

    Welcome to Touchstone Community School. Touchstone was founded in 1982
    by parents and educators who knew that children learn best when they are respected as individuals and actively engaged in their own learning. Their vision of a school where children are engaged, empowered and inspired was cutting edge then, and today is a model for progressive education.

    What skills will children entering Kindergarten today need when they exit college? Rapidly changing expectations means children need to learn to be creative and flexible in their thinking; they need to learn how to learn; they need to be able to work in a diverse world.

    What Makes Touchstone Unique

    We believe every child has the right to a joyful education. You can feel that joy in our hallways, classrooms and outdoor spaces. We cultivate children’s intellectual, social and emotional growth and as a result their academic growth is boundless and profound.

    TCS children expect to learn, persevere, explore, wonder and grow. They arrive in the morning eager for the day’s adventures and they go home in the evening with meaningful stories of learning, friendship and discovery. We believe in inspiring and honoring the essential desire of all children to learn.

    The following five principles guide our work at Touchstone as we prepare children for their future.

    Why a Small School?

    We value being a small school – purposefully small – because at Touchstone every child and parent is known and is integral to the whole. Every family is part of a vibrant, diverse and supportive community. Here children and adults enjoy an inclusive, respectful space to learn, to take risks, make mistakes and grow.

    We respect childhood, preschool through the middle school years, by keeping the joy of learning, the innate playfulness of children, and authentic hands-on learning at the center of our teaching.

    A balanced and integrated curriculum

    The skills and strategies of literacy, mathematics, social and physical sciences, and the arts are taught in an integrated manner that enables students to engage deeply in the content and processes of learning.

    The child as an active learner

    We encourage students to engage actively in their learning in order to create meaning. Students interact with each other and their environment in both concrete and abstract ways. They are encouraged to take initiative and make authentic choices in the active pursuit of knowledge.

    A competent and caring staff

    We empower teachers to develop meaningful curriculum and methods of assessment consistent with the school’s commitment to excellence in developmental teaching practice.

    A challenging and supportive environment for learning

    We believe that education must be transformative and that the educational process should reveal to all students both their unique qualities and capabilities as individuals and their responsibility to put their uniqueness to work for the good of society and the earth. We value the range of diversity found within the social world – from individual learning styles, to differing family structures, to the varieties of cultural expression.

    A meaningful partnership between parents and teachers

    We cherish and seek to build on the inherent motivation for learning that children bring from home to school. Teachers, parents, and staff share their respective knowledge of the child and view each other as partners in the child’s educational development. In addition, the generous and active involvement of many community members in volunteer roles sustains and develops this educational community.

    We invite you to come see Touchstone in action. Take a tour, come to an Open House, chat with our teachers and parents. Come learn what a Touchstone education could mean for your child.

    Welcome to Touchstone!

    Susan Diller
    Head of School

    Susan Diller, Head of School

    Susan Diller, Head of School

    Susan joined Touchstone Community School in 2011. She comes to us from the Atrium School in Watertown, MA, where she served as Co-Director. In addition to her administrative skills, Susan also brings classroom experience having taught most recently at the Winsor School, Cambridge Friends School, and the Atrium School. Susan is strongly committed to progressive education, both as an educator and as an administrator.

    To connect with Susan via email, use the contact form on the Contact Us page.