The FRESHFARM FoodPrints program at SWS integrates gardening, cooking, and nutrition education into the curriculum at SWS. Utilizing organic vegetable gardens, healthy and delicious recipes, and hands-on projects, our expert educators get our students excited about growing, preparing, and enjoying real food. Using fresh produce from our markets and from our school garden, we teach children to create delectable meals from nutritious ingredients. We build on DCPS and Common Core standards, bringing math, science and social studies to life with an engaging curriculum and a unique in-school FoodPrints field trip model at SWS.
Responsive Classroom is a research- and evidence-based approach to education that is associated with greater teacher effectiveness, higher student achievement, and improved school climate. Teachers incorporate practices designed to make the classroom more stimulating, challenging, safe, and happy. You will see evidence of RC practices in our classrooms through: daily Morning Meetings (which includes a greeting, student sharing, movement activities, and reading the morning message); guided discoveries that provoke children to look closely at their environment; and positive teacher language that proactively sets students up for success and guides them to find intrinsic value in the process of learning. Our classrooms are physically arranged to fit the developmental needs of the children and be conducive to safe, challenging, and joyful learning. We also give special attention to the first six weeks of school as an important time for establishing community. Taking the time to build a solid foundation in the early weeks of school leads to a year of increased student motivation, cooperation, responsibility, and self-control.
Medically Fragile Support Program
SWS is home to two medically fragile classes, one for PK3/4 and another for K-2. Students who are medically fragile due to chronic health issues and who also have severe cognitive disabilities receive services and supports to address their intellectual, physical, socio-emotional, and medical conditions. Up to eight students can be assigned to each classroom and the students are in their own self-contained classroom rather than part of the inclusion model of education in which all other children at SWS participate. The self-contained classroom provides the least restrictive environment for these children to access their educational needs successfully. Students participate in a functional academics curriculum and the classrooms are staffed with their own certified Special Education teachers and one assistant. Some children may have an extra educational assistant assigned to them as well.
Each teacher hosts regular community meetings with their students. Classroom community meetings build positive relationships, both student-to-student and student-to-teacher. During a community meeting you will see students making “appreciations” in support of kind acts, making “requests” to address social conflict, singing songs, and practicing moments of peace and silence. Teachers respond to the needs of their class community and discuss social topics such as conflict resolution, creating open friendships, and how to “slow down your motor.”
Monthly, the entire school community comes together each month for an all-school community meeting. The meetings come at the end of a month-long exploration of a student-created community question, such as “How can we help ourselves be calm so we can be kind?” and “How can we take care of our world?” Students throughout the school think about the community question then come together to share their ideas. Read more about SWS community meetings.