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Our programming is strategically designed to address learning differences such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and ADHD. When students become part of Lawrence School, they quickly realize our expert faculty fully recognizes their intelligence and talents and supports their challenges. This relationship allows them to grow academically, socially, and emotionally, in ways they had never known possible.

In every interaction with our students (in the classroom and out), we demand a high level of consistency and professionalism from our staff. The Lawrence Way, originally created to support faculty in learning our routines, has become the foundation for instruction in every classroom at the school and encompasses the four tenets of our approach:


Attention

You may notice our classrooms look bare—this is by design! We train students to focus by removing distractions from the physical environment and continually circulating visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile stimuli to focus their attention on the lesson at hand.


Structure

Many Lawrence students struggle with executive function. Our faculty members model organization in their own behavior and structure classrooms in a consistent, understandable way. These students benefit greatly from constant, direct teaching of organizational strategies which help them to transfer these skills independently into their everyday life.


Multisensory Instruction

We require that all lessons are presented in a multisensory manner. Students best remember what they are learning when the lesson engages multiple senses, this includes: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, tactile, or even smell and taste-related materials.


Mastery

Students must own and understand a concept before a new one is introduced. Teachers are never told how far to progress content—pace is determined by students. We teach key concepts to mastery (80% of students achieving 80% or better on assessments) while appropriately moving through curriculum. When one or more students struggle, we move on, but we continually circle back to key concepts and utilize our on-staff learning specialists. Our job is to build the solid educational foundation students need to be successful in the future. 

The following policies are just a few of the K–12 teaching guidelines we employ at Lawrence School:

  • Classes start promptly and with enthusiasm; failing to begin class promptly lessens the chance of getting and keeping students on task.
  • Classes are taught from bell to bell, presenting students with maximum learning time.
  • Teachers use structured warm-up activities that are the same every day or follow a pattern. 
  • Each class has a concise objective/agenda on the front board; this lets students know what to expect.
  • Teachers stand and circulate during instructional times.
  • Faculty members give positive reinforcement throughout classes.
  • If movement can enhance a concept, teachers incorporate it (i.e. tossing a ball while reviewing content, role playing, or moving students around stations).
  • Teachers pace each class in a way that maintains attention and student interest. 
  • Teachers thoughtfully plan for transitions between activities.
  • Teachers allow time during class for materials management, such as giving adequate time and directions as to where graded assignments are to be placed. 
  • Differentiated instruction, assignments, and assessments are used to ensure the needs of every student are being met.
  • All student work represents their best efforts. Teachers do not hesitate to ask a student to redo an assignment, with parent support and notification.
  • Teachers’ desks and classrooms are a model of organization and advanced executive functioning.
  • Classroom doors remain open at all times; students and teachers are accustomed to school leadership entering their rooms frequently.
  • Teachers limit the number of objects on the student's desk to items which are solely essential to the lesson. 
  • Teachers use appropriate physical contact, such as a tap on the shoulder or desk, to help redirect a student's attention. 
  • Proximity praise is used to mold student behavior (i.e., if Jack is off task, praise Mike for being on task).
  • Homework reflects the school’s written philosophy and provides meaningful independent practice.
  • Teachers initial every student’s assignment notebook every day. 
  • Teachers circle errors rather than using an ‘X’.
  • Teachers use green ink to grade and do not use red ink on any student work.
  • Teachers place the number correct, not the number incorrect, at the top of papers.
  • Teachers do not allow students to ‘trade and grade.’
  • Closure is vital. Teachers conclude the lesson, review, and prepare for an orderly and timely departure from the classroom.
  • When the bell rings, teachers are outside the doorway. The presence of teachers in the commons and hallways assures an orderly transition to the next class.

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