Symonds School History
On September 10, 2008, students, staff and alumni celebrated the new Symonds School's 80th birthday.
Symonds is a school of about 325 children in Kindergarten through Grade 5. There are 3 sections or classes of each grade. Kindergarten is a full day program integrated into all aspects of the school.
At Symonds School we strive to provide a positive caring environment in which each individual is given an opportunity to realize his/her potential. Parents, students and staff work together to create a sense of cooperation and community throughout the school. Cultural diversity is recognized and appreciated. The uniqueness and creativity of every person is acknowledged and encouraged. We provide the opportunity for each person to:
- develop critical thinking skills
- take responsibility for his/her learning
- develop and foster respect for self and others
- take risks to achieve these goals
The school climate promotes personal and academic growth to insure that each individual in his/her own way builds the confidence to meet the challenges of becoming a life long learner.
A brief description of each grades program can be found by clicking on the grade.
The other instructional programs of Art, Music, Physical Education, Library Science and Technology for all children.
The integrated special education Emotional Disabilities Collaborative Program.
Things that make our school a quality environment for children:
We have a rich history and traditions of which we are proud.
We are a "Responsive Classroom" school.
Guiding Principles of Responsive Classroom.
We have a schoolwide emphasis on enrichment.
Grade Level Projects
Artists in Residence
International Cultural Ambassador Program
Special Assembly Program
Student Clubs and Activities
Band and String Instrument Instructional Programs
Harris Center "Naturalist in Residence" Program
Student Teaching Center
Title IX Compliance Statement
Seven principles, informed by the work of educational theorists and the experiences of exemplary classroom teachers, guide the Responsive Classroom approach:
The social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.
How children learn is as important as what they learn: Process and content go hand in hand.
The greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.
To be successful academically and socially, children need a set of social skills: cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control.
Knowing the children we teach-individually, culturally, and developmentally-is as important as knowing the content we teach.
Knowing the families of the children we teach and working with them as partners is essential to children's education.
How the adults at school work together is as important as their individual competence: Lasting change begins with the adult community.
Schools implementing the Responsive Classroom approach schoolwide typically adopt the following practices:
Aligning policies and procedures with Responsive Classroom philosophy - making sure everything from the lunch routine to the discipline policy enhances the self-management skills that children are learning through the Responsive Classroom approach
Allocating resources to support Responsive Classroom implementation - using time, money, space, and personnel to support staff in learning and using the Responsive Classroom approach
Planning all-school activities to build a sense of community - giving all of the school's children and staff opportunities to learn about and from each other.
Day 1 Assemblies:
Welcoming families and the community as partners - involving family and community members in the children's education by maintaining two-way communication, inviting parents and others to visit and volunteer, and offering family activities.
Organizing the physical environment to set a tone of learning - making sure, for example, that schoolwide rules are posted prominently, displays emphasize student work, and all school spaces are welcoming, clean, and orderly.
At the heart of the Responsive Classroom approach are ten classroom practices:
Morning Meeting - gathering as a whole class each morning to greet one another, share news, and warm up for the day ahead
Rule Creation - helping students create classroom rules to ensure an environment that allows all class members to meet their learning goals
Interactive Modeling - teaching children to notice and internalize expected behaviors through a unique modeling technique
Positive Teacher Language - using words and tone as a tool to promote children's active learning, sense of community, and self-discipline
Logical Consequences - responding to misbehavior in a way that allows children to fix and learn from their mistakes while preserving their dignity
Guided Discovery - introducing classroom materials using a format that encourages independence, creativity, and responsibility
Academic Choice - increasing student learning by allowing students teacher-structured choices in their work
Classroom Organization - setting up the physical room in ways that encourage students' independence, cooperation, and productivity
Working with Families - creating avenues for hearing parents' insights and helping them understand the school's teaching approaches
Collaborative Problem Solving - using conferencing, role playing, and other strategies to resolve problems with students
The Six Day Cycle schedule for the building is important because:
- it provides a consistent predictable structure of time for the children.
- provides "fairness" in that classes are not lost because of days off.
- provides "fairness" because "special" classes are held during different times during the day.
- provides larger blocks of planning time for teachers.
- provides time for teachers at each grade level and other "teams" for collaborative planning.
- provides a consistent time all school assembly and grade level enrichment projects.
- provides consistent time for all staff to work together co-teaching "Morning Meeting."
The six-day cycle functions as follows:
- The first day of school is a Day 1, the second day is a Day 2, and so on until the seventh day of school is a Day 1.
- Days when there is no school, including snow days, holidays and weekend days, are not counted.
- Children have their special classes of Art, Music and Physical Education during a 75 minute block, every other day, either Days 1, 3 and 5 or Days 2, 4 and 6.
- Twice during the six-day cycle they have Music for 35 minutes and Physical Education for 35 minutes. Once during the cycle they have Art for one hour and 15 minutes. Twice during each six-day cycle the class will visit the Media Center.
- Kindergarten has its Art, Music and Physical Education classes every day after their rest time following lunch and recess.
- Every day in all classes begins with "Morning Meeting," except on day 1 when the whole school gets together for "Day 1 Assembly."