Sant Bani School
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|Sant Bani School|
|Type||K-8 coeducational independent day school|
|Motto||Be Good; Do Good; Be One|
|Headmaster||Kent Bicknell, Ed.D.|
|Color(s)||Blue and white|
|Athletics||Fall, winter, spring|
Coordinates: The Sant Bani School is an independent K-8 day school located in Sanbornton in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. The school was founded in 1973. It can enroll approximately 140 students from kindergarten through eighth grade. The school is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools, and is recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization.
Sant Bani School was founded in 1973 as an elementary school with six students, and rapidly grew to include a high school. Due to changing demographics, the high school closed in June 2015, and the School is focused on becoming a best-in-class K-8 program. Initially an outgrowth of Sant Bani Ashram, a spiritual retreat center, the School became an independent organization in 1983.
The meaning of the name "Sant Bani"
There are several possible interpretations from the ancient Sanskrit language. In its simplest translation, it means the "Song of the Spirit."
Sant Bani School is built on the belief that we have something to learn from everyone. Surrounded by nature, we create a diverse community where respect for all living things is central. Our mission is to provide a high-level, comprehensive educational experience while also recognizing the value of the spirit. With small classes, committed faculty, and an emphasis on collaboration and service to others, Sant Bani School teaches students to Be Good, Do Good, Be One.
The students at Sant Bani School come from a wide variety of backgrounds and are encouraged in their own personal growth. The School teaches respect for each individual, a reverence for life in all its forms, and a dedication to the ideal of service to others.
Both the Ashram and the School were founded under the direction of a spiritual teacher from India, Sant Kirpal Singh (1894-1974). The School also received the guidance and wisdom of Sant Kirpal Singh’s successor, Sant Ajaib Singh (1926-1997), for twenty-one years. Core educational beliefs laid out by Sant Kirpal Singh and supported by Sant Ajaib Singh include:
- Each one of us is unique. There is a divine purpose behind the life of everyone who comes into the world. We have something to learn from everyone.
- The best education is that which teaches us that the end of knowledge is service.
- This ‘service’ is another name for love and fellowship, which constitute the very essence of personal and social life.
- It is a constant association with gentle forces which breeds virtuous persons.
- A child is the center of creative life, and needs to be opened as a flower is opened, gently, by sympathy, not by force.
- The real aim of education is to develop the character and individuality of the pupil’s mind, will and soul power.
Sant Bani School does not apply pressure on anyone to accept a certain set of beliefs. Students and faculty of all backgrounds are welcome; the School believes that truth can thrive only when there is freedom of thought and expression.
Classes are small, with 14-16 students as an ideal maximum in the lower grades, and 16-18 in the upper grades. Younger and older children interact frequently.
The curriculum at Sant Bani School emphasizes Literacy, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies, presented within a developmental framework. Spanish, Art, Music, Drama, Technology, Health and Physical Education are also included in the schedule. Instruction in basic academic skills begins at the lower level and continues through the upper level.
Art, music, and crafts are integral parts of the daily schedule. Students have the opportunity to participate in activities such as ceramics, weaving, stained glass, photography, printmaking, dance, drama, choral singing, jazz band, and the recorder. Private instruction is available in many instruments including flute, guitar, piano, drums, trumpet, and voice. Students present drama and music programs several times each year.
Sant Bani School competes inter-scholastically in alpine skiing, basketball, cross-country, field hockey, soccer, and track. Recreational sports available to the entire student body include cycling, hiking, horseback riding, skating, skiing, swimming, as well as organized physical education for grades K-6.