WSSU Early Childhood Program and 5th and 6th Grade Student Council Students
Learn Together at Windsor School
One of the best opportunities that we have as a Pre-K through 12 school at Windsor School, is the chance for students from multiple age ranges to learn from each other by engaging with our WSSU Early Childhood Program, led by director Jan Crow. Over the past four months, eight fifth and sixth student council representatives down three floors from their own classrooms to take the time to get to know the afternoon group of preschool students in their own school.
The WSSU Early Childhood Program is an integral part of our teaching and learning community, where students from Windsor engage in morning and afternoon programs to build early skills that are essential. Emily Gissel, the classroom teacher, and Laura Balch, the assistant teacher, work diligently to offer a rich curriculum to support the academic and social needs of the youngest members of our school. The teachers are able to offer them a multitude of experiences that help to develop social skills, gross and fine motor skills, and the love of lifelong learning, with the assistance of paraprofessionals Jen Allen and Bailey Olmstead, along with special educator, Kelly Provost and Speech Assistant, Melissa Ayers. Together, this team of educators are working hard, teaching our Windsor students many important skills that they will carry with them for a lifetime.
As fifth and sixth graders that have been voted in by their student body to be student council representatives, eight student council members have the chance to visit the preschool classroom for three afternoons a week for thirty minute blocks. This multi-age arrangement, was proposed by their fifth and sixth grade student council advisor and social studies teacher, Theresa Westgate. It is seen as not only an opportunity for the preschoolers to engage with the “big kids”, as they call themselves, but an opportunity for the representatives to see young learners in action. Many days, upon their return from working with them, student council members will recount how much they love seeing the children getting when they read to them or build a simple tower. They love it when the preschool students ‘make them food’ and they are able to be silly and playful with them. They are surprised that they are so playful and silly, which reminds the fifth and sixth graders that they can be that way too. Multiple times, students have commented about how polite they are to each other and to the adults. The learning happening both ways when students of different ages have the opportunity to work together.
As the student council members continue to work with our youngest members of our Windsor School community, we are hopeful that we can extend this learning opportunity to other students within the fifth and sixth grade, as well as extend the opportunities to other grades K-12, to continue and increase multi-age learning opportunities.