George Washington is one of Mahwah’s primary K-3 schools. Set in the Fardale area of Mahwah, the school is affectionately known as “The Little School in the Woods.” With a student enrollment of approximately 185 students, George Washington School strives to make sure that each child reaches his or her potential both academically and socially. A staff dedicated to collaboration, common planning, and cross curricular articulation ensures that our goal of maximizing student potential is accomplished. George Washington’s school community is enhanced by an active Home School Organization that provides funding and volunteers for various programs that supplement classroom instruction. Together, our administration, teachers, parents, and students form a unique, close knit school community.
George Washington School offers a wide range of programs to ensure that all students are successful. Our entire current curriculum has been revised or rewritten to align with the Common Core State Standards or the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. Along with the two other primary schools in district, George Washington uses a balanced literacy approach to instruction. This includes the implementation of Writers Workshop, Readers Workshop, and Fundations. Third grade students also learn and study new vocabulary using the Word Wisdom series. George Washington utilizes the Everyday Math program in grades K-3 to deliver math instruction. Everyday Math uses a problem-based teaching and learning approach to support student mastery of complex mathematical topics. Daily “home links” assignments connect math topics from the classroom to the home environment. Science and Social Studies instruction focuses on honing students’ literacy skills through the reading of non-fiction texts. Students are also exposed to hands on learning experiences provided by Sensational Science. These experiences include standards based experiments on topics such as: ponds, simple machines, recycling, matter, and sound.
At George Washington School we recognize that each child is different. A flexible, small group instruction model is used to provide focused, skill specific instruction. This small group instruction model is an opportunity for all students to receive the individualized instruction that is necessary for success. In addition, an in-class resource room model is implemented for special education students. The model utilizes a co-teaching approach and provides special education students the chance to receive individualized instruction in the general education classroom. The model ensures that all students are exposed to the same curriculum, provides opportunities for students to participate in peer discussions with enriching age appropriate language, and minimizes social stigma. When needed students also have the opportunity to receive small group math instruction as part of the Math Improvement program. This replacement program is taught by the building math specialist. Furthermore, each student’s progress is monitored carefully on an ongoing basis. If concerns arise, remedial measures are discussed by an I&RS team that includes, the principal, teachers, and child study team members. Together the team develops a plan to make sure that appropriate measures are taken to maximize student success in the general education environment.
Technology plays an important role in each school day. All classrooms at George Washington School have Promethean Boards, interactive white-boards, and ELMO document cameras. The Promethean Boards provide a multi-sensory platform when delivering instruction in all content areas. In addition to the Promethean Boards each classroom has desktop or laptop computers. Classes also have the luxury of using our computer lab which contains 27 networked notebook computers. Students also have access to laptop computers. The lab and laptops allow large groups of students to simultaneously learn how to safely and effectively navigate the internet, create multi-media presentations, and practice skills learned in the classroom through the use of online review games or related software.
As noted above, George Washington School is committed to developing each child’s academic and social skills. In order to enhance social skill development and help in creating a safe, comfortable learning environment Responsive Classroom is used school wide. The Responsive Classroom philosophy embraces student differences, encourages respect and kindness, and promotes a positive learning environment. The establishment of clear expectations and routines allows all students to learn in a comfortable, engaging atmosphere where students are able to take academic and social risks. Students undoubtedly learn to respect themselves, respect others and respect their school. School wide programs such as “Teammate of the Week” and “Sportsman of the Day” reinforce positive behavior and acknowledge student accomplishments.
In addition to the aforementioned core activities George Washington School provides a variety of extra-curricular activities, events, and programs for our students. During the 2017-2018 school year students participated in our Walk-A-Thon, Science Day, Author Day, Field Day, Read-A-Thon, and Book Fair. In addition, outside presenters visited our school to provide assemblies with focuses on anti-bullying, recycling, storytelling, and different cultures and traditions. These programs supplement many of the lessons learned during the school day and enhance each student’s experience at George Washington School.