What do you experience when you visit Diegueño? If you watch our students in action, there is electricity in the air; students are eagerly engaged and alive with vibrant energy to learn. At Diegueño, our ordinary is extraordinary: dynamic learning adventures are simply part of what we do each day.
In fact, people have asked us to bring Diegueño to the world. While we wish we could share our methods with every educator, what we do at Diegueño can only happen here because we are like nowhere else. Unlike a traditional classroom model, we teach in teams, and we departmentalize so that we can individualize as often as possible. Instead of one educator per classroom who teaches all subjects, each student has up to 10 teachers who rotate through the classroom to customize the learning experience. Each teacher is passionately dedicated to his or her area of personal expertise.
We share everything. Teachers don’t have their own individual desks. This is no accident: our team approach is by design, and our philosophy fosters a collaborative, integrative methodology that guides our teaching and determines our daily schedule. We move from classroom to classroom in a harmonious, fluid exchange where teachers take turns with the children throughout the day. As well, the children rotate from the classroom to the science lab, computer lab, art room, performance stage, and even outdoors for group work. The children are nourished by our lively enjoyment and shared love for the subjects we teach. Simply walk the campus, and you will immediately feel the magnetic energy of magic at work.
Why do most of our incredible teachers drive long commutes each day to be part of the Diegueño experience? Why do our teachers have such remarkable longevity? They share our mindset, they yearn to be part of our daily joy, and they believe in this home away from home that Michael and Leah Cole founded in 1973.
No, we cannot bring Diegueño to the entire world, but our little Diegueño world is working to make the future stronger–one graduating class at a time. Think of our Kindergarten through sixth grade as an assembly line, but not just any assembly line; it is a nurturing, passionate, and compassionate assembly line. Each year, teachers optimize the children’s talents–adding layers of depth and understanding, character building and awareness, knowledge and curiosity–until finally, we have a final 6th grade graduating “product.” We create a well-rounded graduate who can communicate clearly and confidently, who will problem solve creatively, and who will stride capably toward future endeavors in careers that perhaps have not yet been invented.
For nearly 25 years, I have seen our graduates succeed. That is an understatement. They frequently come back to visit, bursting with stories to tell during middle school, high school, and college. In fact, I met one Diegueño parent when she was in fifth grade at our school, and now I am teaching her children. This is the full circle of education we offer. Finally, I am a high school mom with two Diegueño graduates at the dinner table each night, so I can see and hear just how well prepared our children are because of the Diegueño experience.
“It takes a village to raise a child”—cliché but true. At Diegueño, we are your village. We share a common purpose and a common vision. Together, we create a vibrant, inspired community. Our parents help us raise the next generation because our children are the fuel that will power the future.
Janet Cole, Head of School