Visit our campus and you will find a vibrant, exciting school environment where students are rigorously engaged as architects of their own learning and can express what they know in many varied ways. We do not adhere to a rigid, traditional teaching model, but are proud leaders of innovation, dedicated to maximizing the potential of each learner. Our innovative teaching methods are based on neuropsychological research about how the brain learns best.

Our teachers fully understand their students’ learning profiles, so instruction is differentiated and responsive to each child’s needs. Our days include lots of physical movement: Research shows a direct connection between an elevated heart rate and increased learning ability. We also value hands-on, experiential learning and field experiences so students can interact with what they are studying.

Small Classes, Extensive Support

Our class sizes are small, with no higher than a 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio in lower and middle school and a 9:1 ratio in high school. Our Early Learning classroom (5-year-olds) has a 5:1 ratio. Classes are supported by a team of experts, including speech-language pathologists, literacy and math specialists, and other professionals who ensure that skill development happens within the more meaningful context of the classroom. Many students use assistive technology to maximize their learning and success.

Class groupings from ages five through middle school are created using a mix of attributes that include age, learning profile, gender and social/emotional maturity, with the purpose of creating groupings in which each student will thrive. There are no grade level designations prior to 8th grade, nor do the students receive grades. Instead, progress is assessed and communicated to parents through a variety of activities including growth in learning goals, hands-on projects, class performance, tests and quizzes, student-led conferences and other methods.

Grade designations begin in the 8th grade Transition Program, which serves as a bridge between the ungraded structure of the Lower and Middle School, and the graded structure of High School.

In all three divisions — Lower School (ages 5-11), Middle School (ages 11-14) and High School (grades 9-12) — The Howard School offers a full curriculum of literature and language, math, science, social studies, history, foreign language (HS only), art, music, health and physical education. Howard School curriculum follows national and state education standards and focuses on depth of understanding to make learning meaningful.

Teaching Students to Think

Our goal is to teach students to think critically about their world, their work, and themselves. We know that metacognition (awareness of one’s own thought processes), self-reflection, self-knowledge and flexibility are critical in school and in life. When students are keenly aware of their own learning profile and what strategies work best for them, they become empowered to advocate for what they need, whether a digital textbook or extra time to map out a project.

Costa and Kallick’s 16 Habits of Mind form a foundation for our approach to self-knowledge and critical thinking. We also embrace a number of other important research initiatives and frameworks, such as Harvard University’s Project Zero, McTighe and Wiggins’ Understanding by Design
and Costa’s Three-Story Intellect.

List of Specialists

  • Speech-language Pathologist
  • Literacy Specialist
  • Math Specialist
  • Instructional Technology Specialist
  • School Counselor
  • School Psychologist
  • Director of Assistive Technology
  • College and Next Steps Counselor

Thinking That Inspires Us

We use many frameworks, programs or combinations of programs that meet student needs. We incorporate aspects of these and other programs in our teaching:
  • Fluency Tutor
  • Framing Your Thoughts
  • Handwriting Without Tears
  • Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes
  • The Mind Up Curriculum
  • Open Court Reading Program
  • Orton-Gillingham Reading Philosophy & Methodology
  • Project Read Programs
  • RAVE-O Reading Program
  • Read & Write Gold (including writing tools)
  • Landmark School approach to math, including Dot Math and Chris Woodin
  • Singapore Math
  • Understanding By Design
  • Wilson Reading System