S.A.N.D. School requires a community of active learners, where everyone is expected to interact collaboratively as well as think independently. As citizens of the SAND community, we collaborate with parents and community organizations to develop and implement educational programs ensuring academic and social excellence for all.
Our vision is to create an educational environment that is child-centered and supported by the entire school community, so that we can work collaboratively to ensure that all students develop both academically and socially.
SAND Elementary School opened its doors in August 2009 under an exciting new school design called America's Choice. America's Choice provides a comprehensive research-based school design that focuses on standards-based curriculum and instruction, integrated assessment, high level and ongoing professional development for teachers and leaders (including on-site coaching and a parent engagement plan). America's Choice has been adopted as a school reform model in over 1,000 schools nationally with a record of turnaround success.
Students will engage in their language arts curriculum using the Readers and Writers Workshop approach which provides a highly organized classroom structure where students take the lead within learning centers. Learning centers may include a poetry center, an arts center, a writing center, or a drama center to provide students with depth of understanding of the piece of literature or the theme in their unit of study. The language arts curriculum will also include an Author and Genre Study that will provide exposure to diverse literature. Literacy Navigator and Mathematics Navigator are two intervention programs that will be used in this school to help students who are not currently meeting grade-level expectations to stop the achievement gap before it begins. The Rituals and Routines classroom management approach will be built into the instructional system to ensure that all students are engaged in productive learning.
Within this new school model, a rigorous middle school curriculum will be developed in grades 6-8 that overlays a journalism theme, where students will focus on developing strong writing skills. This will serve as advanced preparation for students who want to apply to Hartford's Journalism and Media High School for grades 9-12.