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 190 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 New Jersey Student Learning Standards. Along with the two other primary schools in the district, George Washington uses a balanced literacy approach to instruction. This includes the implementation of Writers Workshop, Readers Workshop, and Open Court Foundational Skills. 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 Knowing 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 whiteboards, and 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 laptop computers. We have a 1:1 model in our second and third-grade classrooms, and a 2:1 in our kindergarten and first grade. Access to technology allows 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. It also allows for small group instruction and differentiation to occur in ways that meet students' individual needs.
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.
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 2023-2024 school year, students will participate in our Walk-A-Thon, Science Day, Author Day, Field Day, Read-A-Thon, and Book Fair. In addition, outside presenters may visit our school to provide assemblies with focus 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.