A MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPAL
Barlow Mountain School welcomes you! Barlow Mountain’s students, staff, and parents have created a warm, enthusiastic climate where visitors feel welcome and students feel safe and supported in their learning. The building itself reflects this positive atmosphere. Set amid a wooded landscape that is rich in history, the school was remodeled and constructed for its re-opening in September of 2003. Its light-filled rooms, state-of-the-art technology, and aesthetically pleasing design have created an ideal environment for our community of learners.
The school houses approximately 430 pre-school through fifth grade students, with three or four classes at each grade level. Our teachers represent a broad range of background and experience. These highly professional staff members meet together regularly to discuss curriculum and program issues. They are dedicated to the belief that our mission of excellence is achieved when people work together for a shared, meaningful purpose.
At Barlow Mountain Elementary School, we value both the academic and social curriculum within our classrooms. Because of our school community's commitment to this core value, we have chosen to adopt the Responsive Classroom approach beginning in the 2008-2009 school year. The following educational principles guide this philosophy.
1. The social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.
The balanced integration of social and academic learning is essential to children's growth.
2. How children learn is as important as what they learn.
The key to learning is in the balance between content and process. Both teacher-directed learning and student-initiated learning are important. Inquiry based learning needs to be balanced with more didactic approaches.
3. The greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.
Social interaction does not provide the only cognitive growth because children are learning when they are reading a book, taking a test, or completing a worksheet on their own. But children are learning the most when they are engaged with one another and exchanging ideas in meaningful ways.
4. There is a specific set of social skills that children need to learn and practice in order to be successful academically and socially.
They can be remembered by the simple acronym CARES. These skills are: cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control.
5. Knowing the children we teach is as important as knowing the content we teach.
The better we know the children individually, culturally, and developmentally, the more likely that they will successfully learn. The scientific and academic discipline of the teaching profession is child development.
6. Knowing the families of the children we teach is as important as knowing the children we teach.
Family involvement is essential to children's education. Parents and teachers should ask themselves what are their students' hopes and dreams for the school year and then work together as a team for the greatest gains.
7 How grown-ups at school work together to accomplish our mission is more important than individual competence.
How educators are with one another is as important as how we are with children. Meaningful and lasting change for the betterment in our schools requires good working relationships. Children are always watching and listening.
You can also learn more by reading Ruth Charney's book Teaching Children to Care or by visiting their website at: www.responsiveclassroom.org
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