Swan School - About Us

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Swan School's Mission: Swan School builds strong learners in an environment of academic excellence aligned with creativity and personal expression. We develop wise and compassionate leaders as an investment in everyone's future. Why Choose Swan School? There are many reasons that Swan School could be the right fit for your child. * Experienced Teachers: innovative, experienced, enthusiastic, accessible, and creative. * Daily Classes in the Fine Arts: choir, piano, violin, art, and frequent presentation of creative expression. * Child-Centered Technology: technology as a creative learning tool that supports written and graphic presentations as well as research for defined projects. * Project-Based Curriculum: integrated thematic studies encompassing science, social studies, math, reading, writing, and drama. * Frequent Field Experiences: integral to the curriculum as both valued and effective. * Language: Spanish instruction from ages 3 through 12, twice weekly in focused sessions as well as daily in classrooms. * Community Involvement: annual participation with the Northwest Watershed Institutes salmon habitat restoration efforts, UGNs Day of Caring, and support of senior citizens quality of life at Victoria House. * Physical Education and Exercise: numerous daily opportunities for active movement as well as focused PE classes to strengthen childrens motor skills and support healthy lifestyle habits.

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<ul><li> 1. Swan SchoolTuesday, February 25, 2014</li></ul> <p> 2. Swan School Swan School is named after James Swan (1818-1900), an important chronicler of northwest native cultures and early pioneer society in Washington Territory. Tuesday, February 25, 2014 3. Independent EducationTuesday, February 25, 2014 4. Charting Our Own CourseSwan School has been providing an independent educational option to residents of east Jefferson County since 1983.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 5. Our MissionSwan School builds strong learners in an environment of academic excellence aligned with creativity and personal expression. We develop wise and compassionate leaders as an investment in everyones future.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 6. Our Guiding PrinciplesChildren are forefront at our school and prior to every decision we ask ourselves, What is best for children? This question guides us and, along with our Core Values, denes our school.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 7. Core ValueCommunity Children and adults work and play together in a safe and supportive community.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 8. Core ValueAcademic Challenge We create a learning environment that inspires reaching excellence in academics and in life.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 9. Core ValueCreativity We foster curiosity about the world through a rich environment that encourages innovative thought and personal expression. Tuesday, February 25, 2014 10. Core ValueCompassion We cultivate empathy for ourselves, empathy for our fellow beings and the environment, and respect our interconnectedness.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 11. Core ValueLeadership Our educational framework and daily practices are structured to develop leadership skills. Tuesday, February 25, 2014 12. Core ValueEnjoyment Our learning is dynamic and infused with laughter, joy, and playfulness.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 13. Balanced CalendarTuesday, February 25, 2014 14. Balancing the School YearIn 2012 Swan School adjusted its calendar to best meet the educational needs of children.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 15. A Traditional School YearA traditional school calendar was created to best meet the family needs in an agrarian society. It consisted of a few terms of irregular length separated by a long summer break.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 16. Is the Traditional School Calendar Best for Children Today? Research shows, and educators agree, that a traditional school calendar isnt the best model for meeting childrens needs.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 17. A Balanced School YearA balanced calendar facilitates continuous learning, helping students retain more as they experience periods of learning and breaks more evenly distributed throughout the year.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 18. Learning in All SeasonsA balanced school calendar also allows learning to take place during all seasons of the year. Swan School sees this as a natural t with its emphasis on experiential learning and eld trips integral to every part of the educational program.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 19. Multiage StructureTuesday, February 25, 2014 20. Multiage: Best for ChildrenAt Swan School we embrace a multiage classroom structure throughout our school. We do this because we know it is best for children and because it best supports our mission and core values.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 21. Multiage: Embracing DiversityA student in a multiage classroom comes to understand that diversity is not only a reality but it is something to be embraced, and that classrooms are simply families of learners.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 22. Multiage: Nurturing AtmospherePurposefully structuring a class that includes a span of ages and takes advantage of the resulting diversity, allows students to naturally become more accepting of one anothers differences. There is an atmosphere of nurturing rather than one of competition. Tuesday, February 25, 2014 23. Multiage: Individual SupportIn a multiage classroom the teacher nds himself or herself supporting each individual child as to their own complex set of needs rather than trying to lead a group of students to all complete an age-based step at the same time.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 24. Small School Small ClassesTuesday, February 25, 2014 25. Small School Common SenseCommon sense tells us that smaller is better in the case of schools and education. With fewer students per teacher every child can receive the attention they deserve.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 26. Small School ResearchResearch backs this up. Studies such as Small Schools: Great Strides by Wasley, Fine, Gladden, Holland, King, Mosak, &amp; Powell (Bank Street College of Ed., 2000), have found that ... student's attachment, persistence, and performance are all stronger in small schools.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 27. Small School ResearchAdditionally it has been found that small schools experience better attendance, lower dropout rates, higher grade point averages, stronger test scores, fewer class failures, and a lesser likelihood of repeating a grade.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 28. Small School Student PerspectiveThe classes are really small so the teacher can work with you and you dont have to wait a long time for help. This works really well in math so we can do more individualized work. Rowan, age 9 Tuesday, February 25, 2014 29. Small School Student PerspectiveWe have smaller classes that are not as crazy so you can focus. Trillium, age 10Tuesday, February 25, 2014 30. Balanced AcademicsTuesday, February 25, 2014 31. Finding Balance: ExplorationThe elementary years of childhood are full of exploration and wonder. The world is new and fascinating. Children learn about self and how they can relate socially to one another.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 32. Finding Balance: Foundation &amp; VarietySwan School recognizes both the need for children to gain foundational knowledge and skills, and to explore a variety of avenues of learning.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 33. Finding Balance: Traditional SubjectsFinding academic balance doesnt mean that traditional core subjects are ignored or short changed. Math, reading, writing, science, history, geography, economics, are all included in a Swan School education.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 34. Finding Balance Can Mean MoreHowever, an education overly focused on the three Rs or on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) is not enough. Children need to explore more than what is covered on standardized tests.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 35. Finding Balance: Fine ArtsThe ne arts, including both vocal and instrumental music, allow students to connect with the world through their hearts. At Swan School children follow these creative pursuits each day of the week. Tuesday, February 25, 2014 36. Finding Balance: SpanishDuring the elementary years language acquisition comes naturally to children. At Swan School students learn and use Spanish at every grade level throughout the day and in focused sessions twice each week.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 37. Finding Balance: Social Emotional LearningSocial and emotional learning is an important part of growing up. We support this both through age appropriate instruction and by giving children the chance to practice their developing skills in a variety of settings.Tuesday, February 25, 2014 38. Finding BalanceAs John Keating (characterized by Robin Williams) exclaimed in the movie Dead Poets Society, ...medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. Tuesday, February 25, 2014 39. Adams Graduation Speech When I rst came to Swan School I felt pretty beaten down. It seemed as though there was no hope for me to learn and succeed in life, let alone in the classroom. Swan School teachers changed all that. Swan School showed me that I wasnt stupid and that I could learn and succeed. I think back to the people and times that have shaped me in the last 2 years. Every teacher deserves a thank you for helping me reach my goals. The love and support of my family has been greatly appreciated. But truly, the main ingredient of my Swan School experience has been my peers. We all faced hardships, but we were able to overcome them together. To me the end of my time at Swan School is just the beginning of the next step. Today is just the rst of many great accomplishments I hope to achieve in my life. I will succeed along with the support my teachers have given me to keep my motivations in sight. Today I will set out and nd new grounds, but I will always remember my time at Swan School. Tuesday, February 25, 2014 40. Swan SchoolTuesday, February 25, 2014 </p>