Academics

Our Approach

Brown School helps each child become a well-educated, responsible, caring, and productive citizen of the world. We cultivate every student’s unique potential within a structured and balanced educational program grounded in the liberal arts, fine arts, and sciences. Within our dynamic and nurturing community, we pursue thinking and communication skills. The depth and breadth of Brown School’s curriculum challenges students to extend their understanding of humanity and the world. Our students are prepared to make sound ethical judgments and to live happy, productive lives. This is the core of Brown School’s perspective on education. Brown School’s commitment to excellence challenges young people, parents, and educators to test their abilities and realize their fullest potential.

IGNITE Program

IGNITE, which stands for Individualized Goals Nurtured in a Team Environment, seeks to complement and extend our school’s mission by providing evidence-based, diversified instruction.

The IGNITE Program demonstrates Brown School’s commitment to individualized education of the entire child. All Brown School students directly benefit from the IGNITE program through hands-on interaction with educational professionals, integrated and differentiated instruction, and student advocacy.

The Mission

The mission for this program is to complement and extend Brown School Mission Statement by providing evidence-based, diversified instruction to students at Brown School. Students shall benefit from individualized learning goals and classroom instruction to further improve academic, social-emotional, visual and musical, and wellness strengths while allowing students to confidently explore opportunities for development in a nurturing, team-based environment.

The Team

The IGNITE team is comprised of a child’s classroom teacher, special area teachers, IGNITE support staff, administration, parents, and most importantly, the student. At Brown School, we recognize the importance of students being actively involved in the process of goal setting and learning.

Classroom Integration

Since IGNITE is integrated into the classrooms and daily activities, many students set their own goals. These goals can range from academic – “I want to finish reading a book this week”, to organizational – “I will complete all my homework without my parents or teachers reminding me”, to personal – “I will make 5 free throw shots in a row”.

Individualized Learning Plans

Students, families, and educators collaborate to create each student’s IGNITE Plan, which documents meaningful and attainable individualized learning goals. To honor Brown School’s commitment to educating the whole child in a team-based environment, IGNITE Plans mindfully encourage talent development and development opportunities across academic, social, artistic, and wellness domains.

Classroom-Based Small-Group and Individual instruction

Members of the IGNITE team work in classrooms to provide in-lesson differentiation. Through collaborative co-teaching and small-group sessions, Brown School is able to accommodate students’ unique learning styles and learning rate in even smaller groups than those Brown School is known for. Additionally, some Brown School students are identified for small-group instruction outside of the classroom, which includes reading groups, homework help, and tutoring.

Student Advocacy and Case Management

Through IGNITE, each Brown School student has a plan that is maintained by their classroom teacher, and reviewed by a team, including administration, at Area Meetings to ensure the student’s unique needs are met with continuity. This results in a truly individualized educational experience for students participating in a relevant and rigorous academic program. For students whose educational outcomes cannot entirely be met through classroom-based support, IGNITE provides families with screenings, counseling, and referrals to community and district resources.

IGNITE Plus

While all students at Brown benefit from our regular IGNITE program, the IGNITE Plus Program is designed to provide support to students who have significant, ongoing struggles in one or more of the following areas: language abilities, memory, attention, perceptual-motor skills, executive functioning skills, academic areas and/or social/emotional development. The specific deficits can affect one or more of the following areas: the ability to decode accurately and fluently, read with comprehension, encode words, write, organize work or belongings, engage in mathematical computations, apply problem solving, and build positive self image and relationships.

Depending on the student’s needs, IGNITE Plus instructors/service providers will work with the student in class (Push-in) or in a separate location (Pull-out). Workload modifications and accommodations are also made available as needed.
Services are initiated with a thorough review of records, teacher observations, testing and family input. When possible, students are also included in the development of their IGNITE Plus Plan. A student profile is then developed, and learning goals are created. Strategies, modifications and recommendations are designed for use in the classroom and at home. Communication between support staff, classroom teachers and the family is ongoing throughout the school year in order to optimize both instruction and remediation.

Students who are enrolled in the IGNITE Plus program will be charged an additional fee, based on the services they receive and the frequency with which they are delivered on a weekly basis. Some students may be assigned to an IGNITE Plus session for a full year, while others may need assistance for a specified time.

Social-Emotional Learning

Because social-emotional learning (SEL) is critical in improving children’s academic performance, it is a priority at Brown School.

Social-emotional learning is the process through which we learn to recognize and manage emotions, care about others, make good decisions, behave ethically and responsibly, develop positive relationships, and avoid negative behaviors. Developing these characteristics sets children up to be successful in school and in life.

Mindfulness Eduction

Brown School is dedicated to enhancing the lives of children by teaching them how to understand the ways their minds work and how their thoughts and feelings affect their behavior and attitudes.

Brown School, with the help of the Hawn Foundation, was the first in the nation to implement The MindUP™ program.

Incorporating attention training tools, also called mindfulness, has been shown to affect positive changes in social and emotional understanding, positive social behaviors, classroom participation, psychological adjustment, academic efficacy, and teacher-rated school performance.

Social-Emotional Wellness

A social worker is employed full time at Brown School to support the psychological and social well-being of all students, from preschool 3-year-olds through high school. Their work with students varies based on their needs. They help them to navigate peer relationships, manage behaviors, and develop appropriate coping skills to deal with big emotions. Our social worker engages with students individually, in small groups, lunch groups, or by pushing into the classroom to support the teachers

Buddy Program

Older students are partnered each year with students in the younger grades, creating wonderful opportunities for learning and mentorship and establishing cross-grade friendships that often last for years.

Physical Wellbeing

Recess

Children have supervised recess outdoors every day unless there is rain or the temperature is below 20 degrees along with other opportunities for physical activity during the day.

Brown School students benefit from collaboration with IGNITE and Wellness educators to set their own health and wellness goals. Classes are arranged in a way that considers a student’s developmental abilities.

Physical education at Brown School is comprised of three programs: Movement, Wellness, and Physical Education.

MovementThis program is for our PreK and Nursery students. Movement class mixes Music and Physical Education activities into one class. Movement class meets 3 times a week for 30 minutes. Students develop gross motor skills while exploring locomotor and non-locomotor movements as well as concepts such as spatial awareness, timing, pathways, levels, shapes, and direction. Through movement stories, games and traditional and creative dancing, students have the opportunity to express their unique interpretation of ideas, thoughts, and feelings.

WellnessThe wellness program for the upper school meets once each week. Students are given the choice between an in-season sport and a second activity such as yoga, fitness, or fitness walking.

Physical EducationEvery Brown School student participates in Phys Ed. Kindergarten, first and second grade classes have Physical Education every day for 30 minutes. Third, fourth and fifth grade classes meet three times per week. Classes are 45 minutes each. Middle school students meet twice a week for 45 minutes with an additional Wellness class on Fridays. High School students have Physical Education three times a week for 45 minutes. Students participate in various sports in addition to flexibility, strength, agility and speed building exercises. A Brown School favorite is the Pacer Test in which students strive to best their own personal speed.

Nurse

We have a full time registered nurse at the school. She is available to assess and treat children who are not feeling well, or who have been injured. She also dispenses any medications that must be given during the school day.

Snack and Lunch

Mid-morning snack time offers a brief recess to all of our students. Students in kindergarten through eighth grades bring their own healthy morning snacks. Preschool children have a simple snack provided by the school.

Brown School is a “nut aware” school and we highly encourage all families to avoid snacks with nuts, as many children have severe nut allergies and may suffer serious consequences if exposed to them.

Students have lunch for 30 minutes each day in the cafeteria. The lunch program features healthy, kid-friendly foods, including sandwiches, pizza, soup and salad, and hot entrée options every day. The Brown School kitchen is nut-free.

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