Welcome to SunFlower School
SunFlower School is a small, non-graded elementary school located in a quiet Gulfport neighborhood. For 30 years, SunFlower has provided a rich learning environment for families who value a joyful, complete education for their children. Our school is especially suited for gifted, self-motivated kids.
SunFlower is a mix of the traditional and the modern. Our teachers have the experience to assess the needs and abilities of each student, and to recommend the best methods and tools. We then form a team with the child and the parents, all working together to give the child the best chance to succeed both academically and as a person.
At SunFlower, we believe learning is more important than testing. That philosophy is evident throughout the school day. All of our activities are designed to teach learning skills, key concepts and critical thinking. While SunFlower believes in rigor and rote, we also believe in lots of hands-on experience and in the value of play. As Susan Engel, child development expert from Williams College, has stated: "...what children need to do in elementary school is not to cram for high school or college, but to develop ways of thinking and behaving that will lead to valuable knowledge and skills later on. They should be able to read a chapter book, write a story and a compelling essay; know how to add, subtract, divide and multiply numbers; detect patterns in complex phenomena; use evidence to support an opinion; be part of a group of people who are not their family; and engage in an exchange of ideas in conversation. If all elementary school students mastered these abilities, they would be prepared to learn almost anything in high school and college." We wholeheartedly agree with Ms. Engel and our teaching styles reflect that. During a typical week at SunFlower, children work on memorizing the multiplication tables, take spelling tests, and sound out words. They also study Florida's water birds, use the computer for math lessons, and cook. And every spring, SunFlower's students stage a Shakespeare play.
SunFlower's students have a wide range of abilities, background, strengths and weaknesses. However, all of them share certain characteristics. They have involved families who promote learning and appropriate behavior while in school. Some of them have special talents that may not have a chance to emerge in larger or more traditional schools. And they all have the desire to do their best. To maximize the potential of these attributes, SunFlower provides the opportunity to learn in small groups with lots of individual attention from caring adults. We provide challenging academics and a rich program for the arts.
SunFlower School prohibits all forms of discrimination and harassment bases on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, age, sexual orientation or disability in any of its programs and services.