Environment

Visitors feel the positive, happy energy the moment they enter The Nysmith School.

They see students of all ages talking animatedly about a million different things as they move from class to class.  Students are welcoming and smile at adults and other students.  Common courtesies are noticeable — students hold the doors open for classmates and others.  Students thank other students or adults for holding the door for them.  Teachers ask students how they are, and students reply and ask after the teachers.  We do have amazing young people here, but we also intentionally develop empathy, respect and kindness.  We have an intentional character education program but our values (“Polite. Kind. Respectful.”) are infused into the entire program.

The Nysmith School offers an exceptional academic program but our environment offers so much more. Our primary goal is to make the journey of education fun and stimulating. An important part of that process is creating an environment where your child will feel free to try their best without fear of failure. We put a lot of effort into creating a collegial and supportive environment that nurtures your child’s confidence.  We teach leadership and cooperation skills. We nurture openness and receptiveness to other children’s ideas to build collaboration and collegiality. This helps students become confident as they express their own ideas and opinions and come to recognize their ability to work with different personalities to accomplish a group goal.  This confidence and their strong academic skills allow Nysmith students to maximize their later academic environments.

All Nysmith teachers are committed to this goal, not just those who lead the character education discussions.  Teachers work with students in groups and individually to help them see things from a classmate’s perspective, or understand how their polite and respectful treatment of others is truly a reflection of their own identity. Teachers in the lower grades directly teach common courtesies, while teachers of older students help students probe the nuances of individual choices in their real lives and in their reading and writing topics.

Nysmith staff also model respect and collegiality. This is an amazing group of educators committed to each student’s future happiness. Their current students feel this, and alumni invariably share they felt it when they were students. Helping these talented young people develop all the skills they need to flourish, not just their academic ones, is the heart of the Nysmith mission. The result is an environment where students respect one another and themselves.