The Ten Best Schools in the World

Reggio Emilia was nominated in Newsweek (in the Early Childhood Category) as one of “The Ten Best Schools in the World”

CIJS is the Most Innovative School in Central Florida

CIJS implements standards using a ground-breaking approach in an organized manner, through interdisciplinary learning. We integrate a project-based method of teaching with the Reggio inspired philosophy along with an agriculture based component. Due to our uniquely blended approach to curricular material, we are able to meet the needs of diverse students, and are able to differentiate instruction for each child regardless of his or her learning style.

CIJS Offers an Eco-Friendly Environment

CIJS uses multiple methods to teach and implement an environmentally conscious philosophy. Not only do we use recycled materials for projects, but we promote the use of natural materials within our environment. In addition, the agricultural component of our program provides an opportunity to teach students about sustainability and eco system functioning.

CIJS Implements an Onsite Agricultural Experience

Agricultural education prepares students to be problem solvers, leaders, and entrepreneurs, through the use of its three-circle model. Classroom and laboratory instruction, leadership development, and experiential learning all combine to offer students a well-rounded aspect to their education that will prepare them for college and the workforce, as well as teach them to be educated consumers.

The CIJS agricultural component promotes hands on learning and responsibility, through the care of animals and gardens. The program introduces students to specific principles in nutrition, physiology, behavior, and reproduction.

It introduces:

  • Farm to table meals
  • Healthy eating habits
  • Understanding the cycle of food growth
  • Inter-dependence of eco-systems

CIJS Provides a Warm and Friendly Home-Like Atmosphere

CIJS features a homey environment with couches and tables, rather than rows of desks and chairs. This creates an atmosphere that reduces stress and promotes comfortable learning. Social skills are essential to future success and need to be taught from a young age. Because CIJS allows students to interact in a slightly less formal group setting, teachers can guide children to learn successful conflict resolution. Additionally, students profit from peer teaching. To develop higher level thinking skills, students need to engage in question/answer problem-solving, while participating in experiments or group projects that require that they think through the elements and steps of a task.

CIJS Provides Daily Recess

CIJS allows students to break for recess every day. The notion that scores increase by forcing students to sit at desks for extended periods contradicts research that supports the cognitive, social-emotional, and physical benefits of exercise and free play.

Students who engage in daily recess …

  • Are less fidgety and more on task.
  • Have improved memory and focused attention.
  • Develop more brain connections.
  • Learn negotiation skills.
  • Exercise leadership, teach games, take turns, and learn to resolve conflicts.
  • Are more physically active before and after school.
  • Are less stressed.
  • Enjoy improved wellness.

Evidence also shows that recess has benefits even over gym class. At recess, children have choices and can organize their own games, figure out what’s fair, and learn other social behaviors not possible in P.E. (Caralee Adams, Recess Makes Kids Smarter,

See also, Rae Pica at

Exploration Station

In addition to the time students spend on projects during the day, the daily enrichment through our Exploration Station experience allows children to work on additional creative activities, including robotics, weaving, scrap booking, designing and building habitats for our animals/gardens, green energy, life skills, sewing, play writing, engineering and more.