18 19 SOLVE PROBLEMS In today’s world, children are too often asked to focus on achievement and their academic work at the exclusion of all else. At ACDS, we nurture a balanced approach to learning and to life, providing an exceptional academic program that is infused with ample time for play, artistic expression, and physical fitness. Astrid As afternoon recess begins, Astrid quickly scrambles to the top of the Spacenet on the front lawn. From her high perch, she sees her schoolmates swinging in the basket swings, playing ball on the Sport Court, and playing chess on the giant chessboard. For morning recess, she chose to join a high-energy soccer game over on the field. Tomorrow, she may choose to head to the back playground. She loves having a variety of spaces to pick from for her twice-daily recess periods. Play and learning are intimately intertwined at our students’ ages (at any age really, but especially in Kindergarten through eighth grade). Children use play for physical development, but also for cognitive and social development. Solving problems, resolving conflict, exerting judgment, testing limits, and thinking creatively are all exercised when children engage in unstructured play with their peers. Additionally, there is a direct link between physical activity and cognitive function. Our recent campus improvements, and those still to come, were designed specifically to enhance opportunities for both play and learning for our students. Play at ACDS is not simply limited to twice-daily recess. Play encompasses and encourages curiosity, open- ended and flexible thinking, problem solving, creativity, adventurous exploration, and the discovery and development of passion. It has become synonymous with innovation and the creativity that fuels research and development in the professional world. Our curriculum allows our students to engage in playful inquiry, where they have opportunities to be curious, take risks, discover and take pleasure in surprises, acquire new understanding, and feel empowered by this constructive experience. Learning, and the pursuit of understanding, can happen in joyful inquiry that looks a lot like play. And, problem- solving requires lots of “playing” around. RESOLVE CONFLICT EXERT JUDGEMENT TEST LIMITS THINK CREATIVELY BALANCED BALANCED