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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Schools That Work| Case Study

Symonds Elementary School

Grades K-5 | Keene, NH

Blending SEL and Academics to Benefit Every Student

Symonds Elementary brings social-emotional learning and individualized instruction into every classroom and to every child, ensuring an environment where students feel safe, valued, and engaged.
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What This School Is Achieving

Two girls giving each other a high-five

Symonds Elementary, a public K-5 school in Keene, New Hampshire, works to develop trust, relationships, and connections with every student. By implementing a strong social-emotional curriculum, personalizing learning for students, and meeting each child where he or she is, Symonds creates a school environment that invites their students to feel accepted, safe, and available for learning.

  • Outperformed state and district on NECAP tests every year since 2010
  • Average 5th-grade RIT score is one year above grade level in math and reading (NWEA) since 2005
Two girls giving each other a high-five

How They Do It

Bookmaking Across Subjects: Making Learning Last Longer

Bookmaking Across Subjects: Making Learning Last Longer

Taking class projects schoolwide makes learning more fun, more engaging, and more lasting for students.

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Social and Emotional Learning: A Schoolwide Approach

Social and Emotional Learning: A Schoolwide Approach

Strategies like mindfulness, emotional regulation, and supportive small groups help Symonds meet the academic and social needs of their students.

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Morning Meetings: Creating a Safe Space for Learning

Morning Meetings: Creating a Safe Space for Learning

At Symonds Elementary, teachers use morning meetings to develop valuable social-emotional skills, create a culture of respect and trust, and prepare students to learn.

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Voices From the School

The Specials: Curriculum Enrichment Builds a Positive School Culture

The Symonds School Quest Team
Peter Siegel, Beth Corwin, John Bass, Brenda Haenchen

The Responsive Classroom: "Why Is Everyone So Nice Here?"

Joan Murphy
M.Ed. - Counseling/Psychology, Elementary School Counselor

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