The Luther Conant School, located at 80 Taylor Road, was constructed in 1971. It is a one-story facility with a contemporary architectural design. The building's twenty classrooms are arranged in clusters of five that open to "pod" areas utilized for large and small group instruction. Conant also has a cafetorium, gymnasium, library/media center, computer lab, and five small rooms used for support services. Approximately 500 students are enrolled in kindergarten through grade six. There are three sections at each grade level, including one all day kindergarten program. Grade 1-6 classes range in size from 22-28.
Our primary assumptions are:
Conant's educational focus is on promoting high standards and developing a strong academic program. Teachers explicitly teach topics and skills over a span of several grades. As the students continue to study the topics, they acquire concepts and skills at higher levels with increasingly more challenging literature, textbooks, and materials. Also, we offer many opportunities for students to participate in instructional activities that reflect and support the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.
Our approach to teaching is based on current research and evidence of best practice. Instructional strategies and materials support our philosophy of engaging the whole child, and many subject areas are integrated into each thematic unit taught. We have designed child-centered classrooms that foster independent learning and address individual learning styles. Enter a classroom and you will see students engaged in the learning process, working cooperatively, communicating effectively, and thinking critically and creatively. This is particularly evident in our investigative approach to math and science. Both disciplines have an emphasis on problem solving, critical thinking, and the development of mathematical and scientific skills. Technology is used as a learning tool throughout the curriculum. It reinforces and enhances all aspects of attaining and applying knowledge. The utilization of computers, both in the classroom and computer lab, assists students in the development of skills and in obtaining valuable information that supports instructional goals. Learning centers provide opportunities for independent exploration and reinforcement of skills, while open carpeted areas allow a comfortable place to share and learn together. The classroom library is an integral part of each room and helps to make reading a part of everything we do. We believe that listening, speaking, reading, and writing should be developed simultaneously and integrated throughout the curriculum. To accomplish this, our language arts program is literature-based and is designed so that students are directly taught skills and strategies pertaining to oral language, reading, and writing. Language arts skills are integrated throughout all of the science and social studies units. This integration of curriculum helps our students become creative thinkers and make connections between key ideas. Learning is relevant and fun! Conant takes pride in its international population---approximately 25 languages and dialects are represented at the school. Our diverse population is educated in an inclusive setting; however, we have professional staff to support students for whom English is a second language.
Several support programs are available to children who need additional services. These programs include reading, counseling, English as a second language, primary and intermediate special needs, and speech and language. Art, music, and physical education programs are provided for students in kindergarten through grade 6. Instrumental music lessons and band are optional for the students in grades 5 and 6, while the entire fifth grade participates in chorus. Parents are actively involved in school activities through the Parent-Teacher-Organization (PTO) and as volunteers. Conant is fortunate to have an active PTO that works collaboratively with the staff to implement the school's vision and goals. In addition to multiple fund-raising events, the PTO sponsors many cultural arts programs and activities, including our Naturalist Program. Our on-site outdoor classroom, developed by our teachers, incorporates the same hands-on teaching philosophy developed for the classroom, and it integrates lessons and distinct concepts from our science curriculum at each grade level. Five parents, elected by Conant's parent community, are members of our School Council and work with the staff and principal to develop our yearly School Improvement Plan.
The entire Conant Community works continuously to maintain a safe and respectful environment. In our classrooms we reinforce these values through the Morning Meeting, an element of Responsive Classroom practice. All-School Meetings, planned and led by the Student Council, are focused on ideas related to developing positive character traits and to maintaining a safe and respectful environment. At these meetings students are acknowledged for having performed acts of kindness toward their peers and adults. Conant is a wonderful learning environment!
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