In the fall of 2017, a design team from the Collegiate School redesigned the branding for the school formerly known as the Chesterfield Innovative Academy for Girls. The following is from the design team's project overview document.
The Garden Schoolhouse, currently known as Chesterfield Innovative Academy for Girls, is a non-profit school for girls ages three to seven. The school is united, diverse, friendly, and devoted to girls becoming independent learners and developing their leadership skills. The school is grounded in the Reggio Emilia approach.
Using the Reggio Emilia method, The Garden Schoolhouse focuses on the development of each child, through collaboration, the Hundred Language Studio, and a reverence for the natural world. The school believes a child's roots must grow so deeply that her branches can withstand any storm.
We believe the new name expresses the individuality of the school, open and happily magical. The idea of using the garden comes from having a diverse community of students. A garden is peaceful and meaningful and requires care; with a garden, you water and tend it until it grows into something beautiful. Every garden has different seasons of growing, just as children mature.
The Garden Schoolhouse relates to the morning meditation: rain...roots...playful like the branches in the wind. We believe this name incorporates the friendliness and "butterfly" idea that the girls wanted and the school’s connection to the Earth. A garden is always growing, but each plant retains individual properties of grace, beauty, and integrity. The sprout, in the new logo, illustrates how living things grow from tiny seeds, develop strong roots, and mature with resilience.
Why are we doing this?
The previous school name (Chesterfield Innovative Academy for Girls) did not do justice to the mission of the school and its students - the name was limiting and long and difficult for students to say and spell. There is also a stigma around the use of “Academy.” The goal of our project was to provide a new name and logo for the school to use in its future.
Every student deserves a promising future, and the Garden Schoolhouse gives each student the best by enlightening their minds and spirits. When we visited, we walked into the school, and we were immediately welcomed; we received hugs and a proper introduction from each student. We were impressed with the school and the choice of using “schoolhouse” matched the message of a small school that is close knit, unified, and affectionate.
Our inspiration for the new name and logo was seeing the girls’ faces and our feeling of being part of the school community.