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Squared blue school
Hundred 2018
Want to integrate specialists into daily school life?

Blue School Specialists

Marker New York
A school with an inquiry-based approach to education that fosters creativity and inspires passion for learning. Blue School employs specialists to maximize students’ potential.
Introduction

What is Blue School Specialists?

Blue School is an independent school for 2-14 year olds located in New York City. Academic mastery, self- and social-intelligence alongside creative thinking are equally essential to the school's balanced approach to teaching and learning. Throughout the primary program, which stretches from kindergarten to fifth-grade, students spend their year invested in rich project work.

Each class undertakes a year-long project determined by the classroom teacher in collaboration with the Primary Program Division Director. The project is supported and extended through students' work with specialists in the fields of music, movement, drama, studio art, science, math, and STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Maths - an additional speciality with its own factor).

Specialists plan alongside teachers and with each other to ensure students have integrated experiences, as well as opportunities for curiosity, wonder, and understanding.

A child development specialist is also employed as part of the school’s learning team, supporting K-8th grade. They observe classroom dynamics as well as monitoring students who require extra support. The specialist communicates these observations to teachers and works with the teaching team to tailor instruction or materials to specific childhood development stages. The child development professional also works with teachers in liaison with parents and carers, where  early intervention or additional support might be required. A consulting school psychologist also works to support students and their families.

Other specialists include: a pre-primary staff team that has a dedicated materials specialist to support the learning of children aged 2-4. The materials specialist considers the interests and questions of the children and what materials they might need to further that interest, stimulate curiosity and support creativity and learning. The materials specialist also considers what materials the children are exposed to and how these can be used to develop motor skills and other skills in line with their development stage.

 

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Intended Outcomes
1483
Views
2 - 14
Age Group
2007
Established
Resources Needed
Blue School employs teachers who are specialists in their area rather than having general specialisms. This innovation requires a long-term implementation plan. As a disclosure, this school is an independent school in New York with tuition fees of $43,000. There are partial and full scholarships available, and one-third of students currently receive financial aid. The concept, however, is not limited by funds and could be applied in any school.
HundrED Criteria
innovativeness
impact
scalability
The whole model is built on having a balanced experience of creative thinking and academic learning. Neither element is more important, allowing this kind of extended project work to live here in a very specific way.
Posts

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Steps

Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

01
Careful Planning
Teachers carefully plan projects at the yearly Summer Teacher Institute in collaboration with specialists and their Division Director. Weekly meetings throughout the year keep classes on target to reach project goals.
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02
Thoughtful Listening
Moment-to-moment assessment enables teachers to react and adapt to students' needs. Weekly meetings with parents, students, teachers, and administrators creates a community of communication.
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03
Flexibility and Responsiveness
Flexibility allows for responsive adaptation as the year progresses.
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04
Sharing and Visibility
Performances, presentations, seminars, debates, gallery-walks, and open classroom events allow students, parents, and teachers to share in the outcome of projects and school-work.
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