Our Unique Programming

At the start of each day, students ready themselves for learning in an advisory-style period called PrimeTime. PrimeTime provides a shared language about what it means to be a successful S2 student. Three mornings per week, we draw from the MindUP curriculum to increase focus, concentration, and self-awareness. Two mornings per week, teachers focus on Academic Mindsets that build students’ repertoire of learning strategies, including academic behaviors such as doing homework and organizing materials, developing academic perseverance and tenacity, and practicing goal-setting and study skills strategies. These skills are used to support students in planning for student-led conferences and enable students to become lifelong advocates for their own learning.

Personalized Learning Time
Personalized Learning Time (PLT) is a series of customized units offering students targeted instruction in math and literacy to address gaps and provide enrichment as determined by ongoing assessment. Instruction includes small group sessions, one-on-one tutoring, assistive technology, and independent projects. 

This instruction, often provided in small groups but also through tutoring, assistive technology, and independent projects, ensures that students can read with the insight required to analyze and effectively respond to texts across disciplines and develop an understanding of key mathematical concepts and their applications to real-life problems. PLT is customized to students’ strengths, needs, and goals. Personalized and inclusive learning experiences that integrate challenging content and well-developed learning strategies prepare all students to think critically, solve problems, and communicate in the language(s) of instruction. Our licensed special education teachers support student inclusion and work collaboratively with general education colleagues to increase engagement and expectations for learning, improve social interactions, and adapt curriculum and practice to different learning styles.

Forum, held every week in the school’s “square”, gives students varied and authentic opportunities to contribute to the school environment and have a voice in real decisions. S2 students come together with staff to practice democracy through analyzing critical issues at school and in society at large, developing problem solving, leadership, and public speaking skills. Our partner, Facing History and Ourselves will provide ongoing support in creating the curriculum, building in multicultural awareness and emphasizing perspective taking.

The gathering starts with Celebrations, during which students and staff can volunteer a celebration of another member of the community. Students then split into their small Forum groups, each led by a faculty facilitator. Forum themes include: Identity, Community, Decision Making, and Choosing to Participate. These themes remain constant throughout the three years that students are in the school, with a spiral towards more complexity with each subsequent grade level.

Enrichment Courses
​Enrichment include physical education, dance, drama, art, and other electives developed by various ongoing community partnership. In addition, a full-time East Side House advisor teaches an Adolescent Issues course for all students to understand and discuss adolescent transition issues such as peer pressure. This class helps students develop the communication skills necessary to share their experiences of adolescence with their families.

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