Sabot at Stony Point is a school designed to sustain children's quest for meaning and understanding, harness the power of their theories and ideas, and guide their inquiry and research. In an environment that supports collaboration and respectful exchange, we challenge our students to become effective communicators and disciplined thinkers, capable of solving problems in our increasingly complex world.
We believe that children
are born thinkers and theorists who, from their earliest months, observe and
experiment in order to understand their world. Children are naturally curious
and creative, motivated to acquire knowledge and to seek understanding by
developing, testing, and refining theories. We believe that these dispositions,
when nurtured and sustained, contribute powerfully to learning and
We believe that children’s spirit of inquiry, as well as their investment in and ownership of work, are sustained when adults treat their interests and questions with seriousness and respect – not least by devoting the time needed to fully realize an investigation or project. Careful choices about curriculum content and breadth also contribute to these goals. We favor concepts and questions that • help students to acquire the tools of research in a variety of disciplines; • help students to achieve specified learning objectives; • yet provide latitude for students to explore related questions and themes.
Community played an especially important role in the Sabot School’s history: the school was established by a group of parents seeking a progressive educational alternative for their preschool-age children, and remained parent-governed until the merger. At the heart of the Sabot School’s vision, as it evolved over the years, lay a belief in individual responsibility, respect for others, and a commitment to the community as a whole. These values abide today: we believe that a supportive and respectful community is the foundation of our school. Sabot at Stony Point is a learning community where knowledge and understanding are constructed in collaboration with others; it is a democratic community where everyone teaches and everyone learns. We value relationships and cultivate connections.
Sabot at Stony Point was incorporated July 1, 2007 and with its creation, marked the beginning of a new chapter for two long-standing Richmond schools. Over the course of its 35-year history, the Sabot School provided excellent education for young children, support to families, and leadership in the field of early childhood education. It was regarded as one of the most excellent institutions for the early education of the youngest members of our community and its record is strong and constant. The Stony Point School opened its doors in 1966 with eight grades. In 1971, it acquired the 28-acre Larus property in South Richmond. Throughout its history, Stony Point School concentrated on educating children in an intimate, nurturing environment, focusing on small class sizes and the building of a school community.
Upon merger, the Board of Directors agreed to continue with the philosophy and tradition of the Sabot School as a progressive, independent school educating our children with 21st-century ideals and goals. Sabot at Stony Point continues to provide a dynamic school that acknowledges children as powerful thinkers; brings children, faculty and parents together as researchers, learners and teachers, and; equips children to approach life and learning with energy, intellect and wonder.
Sabot at Stony Point continues to offer its students a highly structured and rigorous academic foundation in a dynamic learning environment. It continues to incorporate leading education research and best practice from around the world.
Sabot at Stony Point has always been a small school with big ideas and audacious goals. And now more than ever, these ideas and goals are growing.
The current generation of Sabot teachers, parents, and leaders has worked tirelessly and accomplished much. In the past six years, we’ve witnessed the creation of Sabot at Stony Point, the preschool’s move to this permanent home, the development of our curriculum and faculty, accreditation by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS), construction of Founders Hall, and the launch of what will be an ongoing program of outreach and dissemination.
This year, our enrollment at Sabot is at a record high. So, too, is the enthusiasm of our teachers and our community. Our work now turns to securing and growing the school for our current students and for the next generation of Sabot children and families. But this will be possible only if we receive both continued and new support from generous donors. With proper funding, we can construct a new classroom building that is already designed. After we move the education program into permanent spaces, we will have the opportunity to restore the main house — the historic Larus mansion — and the Gillette Garden — one of the most significant walled gardens in Virginia — to their past state of grandeur.
Additional scholarship funds for our ongoing financial aid program will help us grow our enrollment and keep our school economically accessible.
Improved fields and playgrounds will enrich the extensive experience that our students enjoy outdoors.
Additional technological equipment and expertise are critical to our ability to document and communicate about teaching and learning at Sabot as well as to provide our students with additional tools for their research and representations.
I ask you to stay tuned and stay involved, as our story continues. With your help, a new generation of children can find the world of ideas waiting for them at Sabot at Stony Point.
Irene Carney brings over 30 years of experience in education to her role as Sabot at Stony Point’s Executive Director. That experience has included: extensive study of child development and learning theory, most recently as adjunct faculty in VCU’s School of Education 2005-2006; research and writing on the critical relationships between parents and educators (pursued through her dissertation and research faculty focus at the University of Virginia, 1981-1986); and participation in organizational development and independent school governance. She has served on the Board of Trustees of Richmond Montessori School, 1996-1999, and on the Board of Directors of Orchard House School 1998-2000. She was a Founding Member of the Orchard House School and assisted with the formation of Seven Hills School for Boys.
Dr. Carney received a B.A. in Humanities from Albertus Magnus College (New Haven, Connecticut). She also holds an M.A. in Special Education from the University of Illinois (1977) and her Ph.D. is in Special Education and Developmental Psychology from the University of Virginia (1986).
Prior to the merger of Sabot and Stony Point Schools, Dr. Carney served as Sabot School’s Director for 14 years, and as Consulting Head of School at Stony Point School for the 2006-2007 academic year. In 2003, she received the Outstanding Woman Award in the field of Education from the Richmond YWCA.
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