The Sand Hill Approach
At Sand Hill School, kids experience Sand Hill’s special approach to teaching.
Because Sand Hill kids have unique learning styles, we use a specially-crafted approach to working with them so they become successful and resilient. Many connected elements go into what we do and all together, we call it The Sand Hill Approach. Elements include academics, social emotional learning, executive functioning and physical development. At Sand Hill School, kids get a leg up on learning with this approach. Download the Sand Hill Approach elements (PDF) or view them below.
1. Evidence-based Curriculum
Teachers use evidence-based programs across all curriculum areas to ensure that learners with language-based learning differences have the greatest opportunity to succeed.
- Reading instruction: Fundations® and Wilson Reading System®
- Mathematics: Number Worlds (SRA/McGraw Hill)
- Writing: Step Up to Writing® (Sopris West®)
- Executive Functioning: Smart (RESEARCHILD), Executive Functions Curriculum (School Specialty)
- Social Emotional Learning: PATHS® (Channing-Bete)
2. Academic Learning
Includes reading/language arts, writing, math, science, history/social studies, visual and performing arts and P.E. Additionally, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Executive Functioning (EF) are embedded across all subject areas. Because Sand Hill students will transition to more typical classrooms where they will be required to meet standards, the approach supports academic and content standards but is not driven by them. The approach uses developmentally appropriate practices, encouraging children to develop at their own pace, fill in gaps when necessary and learn specific strategies to address challenges. With a solid foundation, students become more able to approach grade level tasks with greater confidence.
3. Executive Functioning Skills
Instruction in Executive Functioning (EF) is an important part of the Sand Hill Approach. We directly and explicitly teach our students EF skills as tools for learning. These include: planning, organization, memory, time management and flexible thinking We also teach things like how to organize a binder, how to set goals and how to reflect on learning.
5. Expert staff
Our teachers and specialists are the heart of the school. With years of experience and specific training in working with language-based learning differences, such as such as dyslexia, our teachers use state of the art teaching practices with a compassionate touch tailored to each individual child.
6. Best Practices
Teaching practices at Sand Hill School are based on research and evidence balanced with years of professional experience. Small group instruction includes personalization that is structured but flexible, developmentally appropriate, and multisensory. A longer school year gives students more time to absorb learning.
7. Technology Support and Family Partnership
We use technology both to support student learning and as a strategy/tool for learning. Each student in in 3rd grade and above has a laptop and iPad loaded with software and apps that become tools for learning. Family commitment and partnership are essential to the Sand Hill Edge. Activities include parent education, PTO, involvement in school activities and fundraising.
Kids learn to love school again. They feel more confident, they make friends and they develop valuable strategies for learning. Parents learn to breathe again because their child is excited to go to school and because they know their child’s teacher really “gets” him.