Assessing Growth

Tilton School teachers, coaches and residential staff commit themselves to providing honest, timely and thorough feedback on student work. Honoring student work with our time, attention and expertise, we build strong student-teacher relationships. 

Essential Skills, Areas of Self-Discovery, and learned outcomes

Communication, Critical Thinking and Decision Making, Creative Engagement, Innovation and Design Thinking, and Mindfulness are the essential skills needed to succeed in an ever-changing world. Practice of these skills are threaded through all aspects of The Mastery Approach.

At the core of the Mastery Approach is a process of profound individualized active self-discovery, a learning journey for each student that is tailored to each students’ interests, passions, goals, beliefs, and strengths. Active self-discovery is built on the foundation of six pillars of deeper learning: Exploration, Partnerships, Community, Intensives, Wellness, and Academics. These areas of self-discovery provide an opportunity for our students to utilize their skills and knowledge that have depth and purpose in their educational journey preparing them for a world marked by diversity and change.

The Essential Skills are investigated through the Areas of Self-Discovery and are demonstrated by students in the Learned Outcomes. Learned Outcomes serve as the basis for evaluation are are illustrated in each student's portfolio.

Essential Skills


A process of information exchange with the intention of understanding and articulating ideas through developed writing, speaking, listening, reading, and/or alternative medium use.

Creative Engagement

A willingness to play, collaborate, and take risk with new and old information, construct content and generate new ideas and possibilities.

Critical Thinking and Decision Making

The processes of generating, synthesizing, and analyzing information using multiple methods in order to make evidence-based decisions.

Innovation and Design Thinking

A collaborative mindset and process of constant examination and analysis used to understand the needs of others through empathy and discovery, generate ideas with a focus on solutions, learn from failure, and try again.


An intentional practice to understand our thoughts and feelings with patience, clarity and empathy, to connect with others, resolve differences, and prioritize as this fosters better health, deeper learning, and a sense of something greater than us.

Student success is more than grades.

Academic Achievement and Habits of Mind

Academic Achievement grades and Habits of Mind grades target separate, but related, elements of the students' classroom learning experience.

Academic Achievement grades are assessments of what the student knows and what the student can do: Content Knowledge, Unit-Driven Understanding, Oral and Written Communication Skills, Critical Thinking and Flexibility, and Creative Engagement and Problem Solving.

Habits of Mind grades are assessments of traits that the student develops and brings to classroom learning – including effort, attitude, preparation, attendance, time management and organization, persistence: Intellectual Curiosity, Openness and Engagement, Time and Resource Management, Persistence, Resilience and Patience, Risk-Taking and Self-Advocacy, and Dependability and Punctuality.

In more traditional grading systems, these two areas are not separated. In our grading system with the inclusion of essential skills and areas of self-discovery, it is clear how much a student has learned.

Areas of Self-Discovery


We educate our students through a personalized Guided Program of Study. This program encompasses all of a students experiences at Tilton School including Academics. Students will take classes in Art, English, History and Social Science, Mathematics, Science, and World Languages.


Our community grows through the strength of our relationships with one another, deepening our commitment to peers and to the greater community. Being an active community member and an active citizen encourages and emboldens Tilton School students to make an impact on our global community.


Exploring your strengths, areas for improvement, and interests by embracing failure and being in a safe, trusting learning environment fuels the importance of curiosity and building confidence.


Intensives are a concentrated time allotted for intentional, impactful learning connecting the heart and mind and providing a source for inspiration. When learning feels learning sticks, and learning is then transferred into meaning. Intensives are designed for students to feel before they learn, so learning has meaning and value. Intensives are not just seen in the classroom but academic exploration can be enhanced with an Independent Learning Experience (ILE).

Read about a recent ILE >


Tilton School develops and fosters relationships with businesses, programs, and organizations, both locally and afar, connecting learning with the real world and real opportunities. Partnerships assist in the development and improvement of skill sets, illustrate the latest trends in the industry, keep a pulse on the job market, meet prospective mentors, partners, and clients, and gain access to necessary resources that can foster career development.


Learning about the body in its physical and emotional needs and how to sustain those needs in order to thrive under difficult circumstances is embedded in every aspect of our community. Tilton School focuses on emotional, social, physical, intellectual, financial, and environmental wellness through active communication, Grade Level Programming, advisory, and residential life.

Learn more about self-discovery at tilton.

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