St. George School is a child-centered K-8 school embracing the academic, social and emotional needs of all students. Teachers, administrators, support staff, parents and students work collaboratively to uphold the school’s common vision. This collaborative effort allows all members of the school community to set goals that set the direction for the school. Research has shown that successful schools create structures that allow teachers to collaborate on the challenges they face. Instead of working in isolated classrooms without interaction with their colleagues, teachers in successful schools come together to discuss ideas, share practices, and plan curriculum. (Turning Points Transforming Middle Schools)
Teams are divided by grade level clusters:
3 – 5
6 – 8
These teams support a shared professional culture where teachers within each cluster develop a common understanding of curricular goals, assessment data, and the needs of the students specific to each grade level cluster. While each team works and plans together, each middle level member is a specialist in one content area. This means there is an expert level of knowledge, both in breadth and depth, of each particular discipline. All teams work together, however, to enforce literacy and numeracy skills across the curriculum. Teaming also allows for interdisciplinary collaboration with specialists such as art, music, physical education, technology, and health.
Teachers share students over three consecutive years, and this allows the efficiency of knowing students well enough and understanding their learning profiles to “pick up where they left off.” Having students over a three-year period also allows teachers to organize and deliver the curriculum in an integrated sense among all content areas. Research shows that this kind of integration results in meaningful learning and reflects the way we learn and solve problems as adults.