Founded in 2014 upon the campus of Saraha Buddhist Institute, Saraha Children’s School (SCS) was created to offer children (and families) a personalized, full and rigorous academic education integrated within developmentally-relevant, child-oriented Buddhist teachings of self-discipline, mindfulness, kindness, altruism and compassionate virtue. Accomplishing this integration joyfully and practically, for the benefit of its students, as well as all children, families and indeed the world, is the core goal of the school.
To best accomplish this goal, we thought it important that the synthesis of traditional spiritual and modern academic training should occur within an environment of transparency, meaning first that SCS was inclusive and welcoming to students and families from different backgrounds, and responsible, open and offering service to the community at large. That its spiritual teachings, to those who cared to know, were explicit. And its organization, academic standards and results were clear and subject to review and approval by qualified licensing authorities.
In the years since its founding, SCS has aimed to achieve these goals and has met with success by meeting certain milestones, such as:
- 2015: Awarded Private Alternative Education School Certification by the Oregon Department of Education for 2015-16 Academic Year
- 2015: UofO SPICE Science Fair and Competition Winner Grades 1-3
- 2016: Double + Enrollment from Previous School Year
- Awarded Private Alternative Education School Certification by the Oregon Department of Education for 2016-17 Academic Year
- 2016: UofO SPICE Science Fair and Competition Winners Grades 1-3 & Grades 4-6
- 2016: Publication of Children’s Poetry in Stepping Stones Literary Magazine
- 2017: Double Enrollment from Previous School Year
- 2017: Awarded Private Alternative Education School Certification by the Oregon Department of Education for 2017-18 Academic Year
- 2017: UofO SPICE Science Fair and Competition 2nd Place Grades 4-6 and Placement in Oregon State Intel Science Competition Grades 7-9
- 2018: Oregon Department of Education School Report Including Site Evaluation, result = pass/approved
- 2018: Awarded Private Alternative Education School Certification by the Oregon Department of Education for 2018-19 Academic Year
SCS’s survival and growth over these first years, for those who don’t know how hard this is for a new school, is perhaps evidence of our consistent determination to succeed. The above events are evidence of success in the realms of academic metrics and transparency.
Working as it does across every aspect of being, of body, speech and mind of students and teachers both, the school’s core goal of spiritual integration is doubtless harder to depict, much less quantify. It has also been the most ambitious and hardest to achieve. One reason has been its novelty to those involved. Combining a public presence with child-oriented Buddhist training and modern academics has made this school virtually unique, even among other value-based and spiritually-oriented schools in this country.