Instruction Designed to Help Children Soar
The Cygnet School is a non-profit private school primarily serving students in grades K-10. Our school is considered a ‘micro-school’ in that student enrollment is limited to 15-18 students per class in our 3 multiage academic classrooms, and 10 students in our Secondary Co-Op classroom. The multiage grouping approach allows children to work at their own level to reach understanding of concepts, with specific time set aside to directly teach new skills or skills with which students are experiencing difficulty. We have two full-time teaching assistants who work with students daily in addition to our highly qualified academic instructors.
Our academic program operates Monday through Thursday and includes English/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Our Fridays are reserved for elective classes so students can explore and develop their interests. Elective classes for our upper elementary and middle grades students are offered in 9 week long blocks and students build their own day by choosing from offerings including the visual and performing arts, gardening, beekeeping, cooking, engineering, and gaming.
Our programs are inclusive of students with exceptional learning needs and we strive to follow a natural proportions model. The principle of natural proportions simply means children with differing abilities are included in classrooms in proportion to their presence in the general population. Approximately 20-25 percent of each classroom's capacity is reserved for children with special needs (inclusive of gifted students and students with disabilities).
The Cygnet School is committed to a developmentally appropriate and highly engaging learning environment by designing academic experiences that incorporate student interests and account for their individual strengths and challenges. Our academic experiences are grounded in English Language Arts and Mathematical standards selected from the professional literature base as foundational knowledge and skills necessary for secondary school success. Curriculum materials are selected based on each student’s individual strengths, challenges, and interests.
The Cygnet School approaches science and social studies through an interest and inquiry-based approach. Teachers design units and projects to teach the big ideas of science and social studies in a hands-on and developmentally appropriate manner.
Assessment and Progress Reporting
At the Cygnet School, the primary purpose of assessment is to inform instruction and teachers use a combination of formal and informal measures to gauge student growth and needs. Progress is reported to families using multiple measures to best capture a true picture of the child's ongoing development. Annual assessment includes quarterly written progress reports, administration and reporting of student achievement on the Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement (3rd Edition), and two parent conferences. Teachers are available throughout the year for additional conferences upon request.
Social and Independent Functioning Skills
We believe that social and independent functioning skills are critical to personal success and happiness. We provide daily opportunities for children to participate in social situations for a variety of purposes and teach strategies to help students develop the ability to solve their own conflicts (both internal and external) in a safe and respectful manner. Students need some scheduled free time each day to practice these skills, which is provided during daily recess breaks and at snack and lunch times.
We also provide daily opportunities for students to grow in our core values of inquisitiveness, integrity and respectfulness through direct teaching and modeling as well as through activities purposefully prepared with different levels of structure and support. Students who need extra support in these areas may be asked to participate in regularly scheduled individual or small group lessons and/or an individual action plan to target areas of need.