Signature Practice #1: Multi-Age Classrooms & Programs
Our 2/3 teachers led the way for Mulit-age Classrooms at Sunol Glen six years ago. Their vision of students working collaboratively in mixed aged groupings and looping up with a teacher, helped to eliminate some of our enrollment issues and concerns. Students are placed in multi-age classrooms and work as a team. Age is unimportant; skill and need drive the classroom and learning. Students work in centers or with partners and build upon past knowledge at a level that is appropriate to them, regardless of age. We currently have three K/1 classrooms (which house TK students as well) and three 2/3 classrooms. Our upper grades, 5th - 8th, share a similar model and loop their students. This enables both students and teachers to be completely comfortable and begin building from day one. Our Middle School electives and PE programs are multi-age, following the lower grade examples set by our colleagues.
Signature Practice #2: Technology Embedded Throughout Our Curriculum
Six years ago, the state's budget was continuing to cut money from education. Class sizes were climbing. Courses designed to give classroom teachers prep time, such as, Art, Computers, and Music were being eliminated to save money. At this time our school had dry erase projectors and chalk boards in the classrooms. The staff, families, and local businesses joined forces and raised over $100,000 to save Art and Music; paying for teacher salaries and saying that it mattered that we keep these programs for all children. Teachers, wanting to bring 21st Century skills into the classroom wrote grants, fund-raised, and competed in competitions to bring new technology to the classrooms. Today, each classroom has white boards, TV, vcr/dvd player, a mounted projector, an eBeams/Smart Board, and computers. Teachers have raised money through auctions and on-campus events to purchase laptops for their classrooms. We currently have a fully utilized computer classroom with 34 desktops and four laptop carts on campus that are shared between classroom pairs. We are a google.edu site and working to embed technology into our classrooms in all subject matter.