Uniquely SBS

Uniquely SBS

Every school has distinguishing features, programs, and characteristics which help it stand apart from peer institutions.  What are some of the things that set Sant Bani School apart?

  • Our Location: the SBS campus is situated amidst 200 acres of woods, trails, fields, and streams that our students have access to. Students spend ample time outdoors each day and classes often venture outside for hands-on, place-based activities to help students better understand and appreciate the world around them.
  • Our Sense of Community: Picture this – it’s the end of the school day. Students across all grades are enjoying a final recess together before dismissal.  A fifth grade student and a Kindergarten student walk hand-in-hand to the afternoon pick-up line and greet the teacher who is there by their first name – a practice that dates back to the school’s founding to demonstrate a sense of equality.  Our small size and multi-age learning opportunities mean that students make friends across all grades, creating a tight-knit community.
  • Our students are comfortable speaking in public when they graduate. Public speaking and self-advocacy are difficult skills to learn.  We create an environment in which students feel comfortable speaking and presenting in front of their peers, from smaller settings such as leading Morning Meeting in the classroom, to sharing their Projects Period presentation, to the culminating experience of every eighth grader giving a graduation speech.

In addition to these broader notions, click on the accordion links below to learn about components of our daily programming that make the Sant Bani School experience unique.

Projects Period

Projects Period is a one-week independent educational experience that takes place in early March, following February vacation.  Each student is responsible for proposing, creating, and presenting a project of their choosing.  Topics vary widely each year, ranging from “Learning How to Bake” or “Learning How to Tap a Maple Tree and Make Syrup” to “How to Fix a Mountain Bike” and “My Experience Volunteering at a Local Soup Kitchen.”  Ultimately, the hope is that students will experience growth and take pride in pursuing a personal interest that might not fit into the classroom curriculum.

The amount of time students are required to work on their project increases with age: 10 hours for students in grades K-2, 15 hours for grades 3-5, and 20 hours for middle school.  Projects are optional for Kindergarten students.  Middle school students may opt to do their project during the summer, and at least one project must be service-based. 

After students return to school, two days are set aside for project sharing.  Students are divided into groups, and each student shares their project with the rest of the group.  Older students take turns assisting teachers with project evaluation.  Projects Period concludes with the Project Sharing Café on Wednesday night for families, and some students’ projects are chosen to display at the Sanbornton Public Library.

Mountain Climb

One of our favorite days on the annual school calendar comes in early October: Mountain Climb.  On a Friday morning, the school community – including parents who are able to attend – meets at the trailhead of one of the region’s mountains ready for a day of hiking, camaraderie, and reaffirming our connection to nature.  Ascending the trail at our own pace, everyone gathers on the summit to have lunch with the spectacular view that is New Hampshire in the fall before joining together to sing a song prior to descending the mountain. 

Writers' Festival

Each spring, a visiting author comes to campus for Writers’ Festival, a day devoted to writing.  Prior to the visit, students prepare their own short stories, which they share with peers throughout the day.  All students have the chance to listen to a presentation from the Visiting Author and ask them questions.  Throughout the day, students participate in faculty-lead writing workshops and venture to various locations of campus to partake in a free writing exercise.

A Commitment to Service

A commitment to service has been engrained in the fabric of Sant Bani School since its founding.  We are constantly seeking ways to open students’ hearts so they are aware of others and feel inspired and empowered to help them.  We seek to teach students about the importance of service and the impact that it can have, both on their communities and as a source of personal fulfillment.  For example, the middle school jobs program, which tasks students with helping to clean the school each day, demonstrates how to take care of one’s space and the impact of the notion that “many hands make light work.” Students also learn that what might seem like a small gesture, such as clearing hiking trails of debris, can actually have a large impact. 

Teachers consistently look for ways to bring service into their classrooms, and on occasion a service project will arise spontaneously based upon student interest.  One year, for example, the fifth grade joined the NH Kid Governor’s effort to collect goods for homeless shelters by collecting 500 pairs of socks and donating them to an area shelter.

Prior to the beginning of each school year, the school holds a Family Service Day in which families assist with various tasks around campus, both in classrooms and outdoors, to help get campus ready for the upcoming school year.

Enrichment and Clubs

Sant Bani School’s after-school enrichment and Friday Clubs programs provide students with fun, age-appropriate, and often hands-on activities that are designed and run by SBS teachers.  Enrichment is optional and takes place Monday through Thursday, and is divided into blocks which typically last 5-6 weeks before rotating.  Some activities are offered multiple times throughout the year to give students who develop a passion for that particular activity the chance to continue doing it and build upon what they had previously learned. 

Clubs take place on Friday afternoon.  In the fall and spring, Clubs are only for students in grades K-5, but in the winter all students may participate.  Like enrichment, Club blocks rotate throughout the year but where Clubs differ, is that because club sessions are longer (at least two hours, compared to 45-minutes) students can do things that take more time such as baking and traveling off campus for hiking, kayaking, ice skating, or skiing.   


A generous donation received in 2022 allowed the school to create a Maker Space and purchase several materials dedicated to creation and design, which was the first phase of revamping Sant Bani School’s STEAMS program.  Each of our three grade cohorts (K-2, 3-5, middle school) has a 90-minute STEAMS block each week with age-appropriate curriculum designed for each group to get students thinking critically, problem solving, working collaboratively, and learning different technical skills.  Students who develop a passion for hands-on tinkering can continue working in the Maker Space during enrichment and clubs periods.

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