Creating abundance: Extended time

Time at Ren is precious and we are fortunate to have it in abundance. We have time to create and settle into a community that is supportive and engaged. We have time to work out the bumps we hit along the way in work and relationships. We have time to travel, to muse, to reflect, and to dig down deep. We have time for ideas to germinate strong roots and for plans to sprout wings for full flight. We have approximately 300 more hours each year than comparison schools.

Our Schedule

Extended days…

Our days are extended… We simply aren’t finished at the end of the day! And, after a break for dinner and sleep, we often simply slip back in the morning into the work and friendships that captivate our imaginations and inspire us. We begin the day with a “soft landing,” choosing to extend our assignments, explore new materials and ideas, practice or apply our latest skills, chat with friends, read a beloved book, write a great novel, work out a gnarly math problem… that studio time is ours to spend.

The days are thick with learning. Much of our learning is built through a social framework as we work collaboratively, talk and share ideas, and offer recognition, response, and accolades. We “layer” our learning, thick and deep, extending ideas to test and broaden our interpretations, assumptions, and new concepts. It all takes time. And each day, in our last hour together, we regroup to explore a range of questions, materials, tools, and ideas linked to a myriad of electives with experts and enthusiasts in their respective fields. Abundance!

Daily Schedule
Consistent Days and a Bit of Sparkle!

Each day has a rhythm… and with that predictability, we weave in specialists and special events.

Please see the “Schedule” for standard academic blocks, designed for extended, concentrated learning with significant, plentiful stretch breaks and variety throughout the day and week.


Monday through Thursday, 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM

7:30 am Early arrival and studio time
Arrival time sets the tone for the day. It is important that children come to school ready to learn. A good night’s sleep, a healthy breakfast, and encouragement all contribute to the ability to focus on learning.
8:00 am Arrival time for all children
Arriving before morning meeting allows children to settle in, touch base with friends, take care of personal organization, and feel ready for the morning routines to begin.
8:15 am Morning meeting
During this time, community members are greeted, announcements are made, and news is shared. The day’s agenda is set.
8:30 am Literacy groups
Children work in groups and independently on handwriting, word study (vocabulary, spelling), reading strategies, fluency, expression, comprehension, writing (process, structures, grammar, and punctuation) often in the context of a broader content study.
10:00 am Snack
10:15 am Read aloud
The selections are chosen to illustrate writing styles, literary elements, genre, or social topics.
10:30 am Numeracy groups
Children work in groups and individually on number sense, computation, and problem-solving, spanning measurement, geometry, algebra, fractional numbers (including per cent and decimals), positive and negative integers, statistics, and graphic representations.
12:00 noon Lunch
Lunch break is a social time for the children. It provides them with time to connect with friends and develop social skills while replenishing their energy. The quality of this time is important for the success of the day. Its structure ensures safety and well-being.
12:30 pm Recreation
When children are able to interact productively with their peers and handle their concerns with competence, the afternoon climate is much more settled and relaxed. Our children and staff aspire to create a mid-day routine that allows freedom for children within a supervised structure and support.
1:00 pm Afternoon schedules are a mix of content in the sciences and specialist instruction.
3:00 pm Studio time and exploratory classes.
4:00 pm Final departure time.

Fridays (Theme Workshops), 8:00am – 2:30pm

September-December | January-March | April-July

8:00 – 2:30 Field trips, project work, related skill work and tutorial time.

Two Week March-April Hiatus Session

Monday thru Thursday



Extended year…

We are here for children’s learning… a phenomenon that has no beginning or end, just pause points, short bursts in which to breathe and gather energy, regenerate, and poise again for the next flight…. an abundance of time, an abundant world of possibility.  Our year spans September to mid-July, offering all sorts of weather and civic opportunities to explore the world around us.  A youngster’s world is full of inviting doorways… it takes time to explore the potential beyond them! What isn’t available in one season is often available the next.  Enduring ideas can be observed and tested over time and across circumstances and environments when time allows!

Important Dates 2017-2018

9/6 School Resumes

9/8 Welcome Family Picnic

9/13 Grandma Charlie Hatting

9/18-9/22 Middle School Extended Travel: Ashland

9/25-9/29 Middle School Extended Travel: Opal Creek

10/3 Transition to High School Info Night

10/10 Transition to Middle School Info Night

10/13 Mid-Term Celebration of Learning 2:30-3:30pm

11/10 Veteran’s Day – No School
11/23-11/24 Thanksgiving – No School

12/2 Winter Magic Solstice Celebration

12/8 Performances 1:00-2:30pm
12/14 Learning Celebration
12/15-1/2 Winter Break – No school

1/3 School Resumes
1/15 Martin Luther King Jr. Day – No School
2/16 Authors Tea/Grand Ball/Learner Profiles

2/16 Charlie Muggin’s 7th Birthday
2/19 Presidents Day – No School

3/16 Performances 1:00-2:30pm
3/22 Learning Celebration
3/23 No School

3/26-3/29 Spring Break Camp Week 1

3/30 No School
4/2-4/5 Spring Break Camp Week 2

4/6 No School
4/2-4/8 Berea Mountain Festival, Kentucky

4/9 School Resumes
4/30 Raven’s Magic Sleep-Over

5/1 Raven’s Magic May Day Dance-Up the Sun & School Soup and Pajama Day

5/28 Memorial Day – No School

6/15 Sudy’s Sports Day / Field Day

6/24 Children’s Chosen Charity Event
7/4 Independence Day – No School

7/9-7/13 Water Week

7/13 Ren Raven Run / Performances 1:00-2:30pm

7/17 Ren Regatta
7/19 Graduation / Learning Celebration / Last Day of School


Planning Ahead…
A Predictable School Year Calendar

Are you planning ahead for vacations, family visits, special occasions…?
Our consistent calendar makes it simple.

Each September, we begin the year on Wednesday after Labor Day. Our faculty return to work for professional development the week before and take Labor Day off. The faculty have a work day on Tuesday, prior to the children’s return.

We observe the following Federal holidays:
Veterans’ Day
Martin Luther King, Jr., Day
Presidents’ Day
Memorial Day
Fourth of July.

We are closed the day after Thanksgiving.

In order to ease and accommodate family travel during peak travel times, we are not in session Friday after any Learning Celebration, at the end of each term:

Winter break varies slightly with the calendar, beginning Friday after the Learning Celebration in December. We return to school after New Year’s Day. Winter break is two and a half weeks, encompassing December 25 and January 1. A faculty professional day is scheduled the day prior to the children’s return.

The March Learning Celebration is scheduled for Thursday prior to spring break weeks.

Spring break “camps” are scheduled for the last week of March and the first week of April. Children are invited to attend both weeks; families decide to participate in one, two, or no weeks during that time. Children are grouped relative to age, likely interest, and skills. The focus of each week’s projects are surprises. (Projects have an intense pacing, each with a beginning, middle, and end; therefore, a four-day commitment is required. Children do not attend partial weeks.) Camp schedule is Monday through Thursday, 8:00 am-2:00 pm. We do not hold classes on Fridays of either spring break weeks.

After the final Learning Celebration of the year, the school closes for summer break. Faculty use the next day, Friday, for “boxing day.”

Snow days and emergency closure days… Ren has the enviable position of working with children for an extended number of days and hours! We do not have late starts, early dismissals, conference days, report days, or planning days mixed into the instructional calendar. Our summer begins in mid-July. There really are no places to extend ourselves further!

We hope this assists you in your planning for future years!