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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

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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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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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

Comments (1) Sign in or register to comment

Gretchen Ninestein's picture

Love the morning meeting ideas and philosophy on social emotional curriculum, but bragging about test scores for this predominantly white, middle class school is superfluous. I would argue those scores would not be very different if the school had a more traditional curriculum.

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