The Mission of Lucy School is to provide a child-centered arts enriched program (including drama, creative movement, dance, puppetry, music and visual arts) that will stimulate, nurture, and enhance the intellectual, emotional, physical, social, aesthetic and creative development of children, ages three through eighth grade. By example, we will nurture a love and respect for community, family, nature and the environment.
We seek to do this within a small and familiar environment on a 17-acre farm setting that integrates the elements and aesthetics of nature into the learning process. We value the involvement of parents and grandparents and offer parent-child workshops that explore integrating creative arts in their child rearing.
Campus & Buildings
Big Red Barn - Preschool thru Kindergarten
A 19th century barn has been renovated into a “state of the art” facility with early learning spaces influenced by the Milan School of Design/Reggio Emilia (an internationally known visual arts preschool in Italy) for the preschool programs. Through carefully designed use of natural light and warm colors and attention to flexible spaces and cozy corners, children are provided with a living-learning environment that is homey-comfortable and at the same time inspires curiosity and love for play, imagination and learning. We have also consulted with nationally recognized experts in the early childhood field in developing our outdoor play/learning spaces.
Green Classroom Building - This award winning, LEED Platinum building houses our elementary program and arts classrooms.
Red Farmhouse - This beautiful building, listed on the National Historical Registry, is home to our Middle School program.
Milk House - Middle School classroom
Big White Barn - This former milk barn features a large mural by artist Bill Dunlap. It houses our large STEAM room for projects in science, technology, engineering, art, and math. We also use it as a performance space.
Solar Shed - This large building holds Lucy School's solar panels and serves as our gymnasium.
Green Building Construction History
On March 23, 2009, Lucy School received an occupancy permit for its new state-of-the-art “green” classroom building! Designed to house its primary, art and music programs, the new building is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for certification under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program, an independent, third-party verification that it meets the highest green building and performance measures and it is a healthy place to live and work. An environment that is healthy and conducive to learning was a basic requirement in the design and construction of the school’s new classroom building.
The building is a wonderful source of learning, hands-on education that the children experience and participate in every day. The project has informed our curriculum, with the children following along from the early excavation (exploring soils and rocks) to the various stages of construction. Flushing a toilet, washing hands or sorting waste in recycling bins are daily experiences that reinforce green principles. Most importantly, this building complements beautifully our environmental and outdoor education curriculum that promotes a love of nature and environmental stewardship.
Reduce, reuse and recycle are the three Rs of green professionals. This attention to green basics is reflected throughout the building: Sensor-controlled sinks, dual-flush toilets and waterless urinals have reduced dramatically water use; rainwater is collected in a cistern and used to flush toilets; LED lights and sensor-controlled fixtures minimize the need for electrical power; sixty solar panels generate sufficient power to reduce the building’s electricity use by 15-20%; a geothermal heating/cooling system drastically reduces the demand for power; gray water from sinks, water fountains and washer is used to water plants; rain and storm water are collected in eight rain gardens and filtered through to the water table.
The most prominent feature of the building is the glass doors and windows that allow daylight to flood each room and corridor. More light is brought into the classrooms and meeting spaces by a series of “solatubes” that collect sunlight and direct it into areas away from windows. Daylight is a wonderful natural stimulant for the brain, helping to keep it alert and focused, thus enhancing learning. At the same time, air monitors activate fans to introduce fresh outside air whenever classroom carbon dioxide levels exceed acceptable levels.
Indeed, the building passed stringent air quality tests and it has systems in place to monitor and control the presence of unhealthy conditions. A few years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that “one-half of our nation’s 115,000 schools have problems linked to indoor air quality. Students, teachers and staff are at great risk because of the hours spent in school facilities and because children are especially susceptible to pollutants.” Construction material, coverings (from carpet to paint), glues and sealants, insulation, inadequate ventilation and cleaning fluids, all contribute greatly to the degradation of indoor air quality.
To reduce the possibility of off-gassing from construction materials USGBC guidelines were used to select material, including sealants and coverings. Insulation is made from recycled paper and denim. Mineral paints were used, with no volatile compounds present. Even magic markers used in the classrooms are water-based without the toxic chemicals found in traditional writing material. We also use cleaning fluids that are made of natural ingredients; we found that they work quite well without the side-effects of the strong chemicals that are typically present in more common products.
Wood obtained from a warehouse that was demolished provided the timbers, decking and trim for the building. Most of the remaining wood is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. Floors are primarily cork and bamboo, both rapidly renewable resources. Cabinets are also made of bamboo and wheat board. All concrete for the project (from the foundation to the pavement) contains about 50% slag or fly ash. More than 80% of construction waste has been diverted from the landfill through reuse and recycling: drywall has been ground up or mixed with manure and spread over a local farm; cement-board siding as been used as fill; wood, wiring and metal cast-offs are being used for art projects; and pipe was used to build musical instruments.
Our intent was to create a nurturing environment for creativity and learning. Lucy School's arts-based curriculum is a fundamental component, but its impact is greatly enhanced in a setting that is healthy and promotes curiosity and confidence. Lucy School students do very well academically, but they are also learning to care for themselves, their neighbors, and the earth.
Students at Lucy School work with a committed and experienced team of staff members. All of our teachers have a bachelor's degree in early childhood education and/or subject-related field and teaching assistants must be Senior Staff certified by MSDE. Our commitment to staff development assists dedicated educational professionals in continuing to develop their skills.
If you are interested in career opportunities at Lucy School please send a cover letter, your resume, and three references to Director@LucySchool.com.
Lucy School Art Gallery