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Teaching Approach

Catamount school students

At the Catamount School, each area of the curriculum emphasizes a problem-centered approach that develops critical reasoning abilities and promotes a deeper understanding of the subject material. Teachers personalize instruction and guide students in processing what they are learning through discussion and reflection. Access to a wide range of digital learning opportunities enhance engagement and enable students to demonstrate academic progress in a variety of ways. Our school also utilizes the "Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child" model and brings in members of the community and WCU staff to ensure our students are getting a well-rounded education.

Individualized Learning

We recognize that students have different learning needs, and we will work to identify an individualized approach so that each student has the opportunity to succeed. Some of the many methods utilized include:

  • Technology- We utilize one-to-one technology so that each student has a personal learning device for use with platforms such as One Note and Canvas.
  • WCU Interns and students- Having WCU interns in addition to a full TCS staff allows us to create small groups and one-on-one instruction which means our students receive a combination of teaching methods, learning activities, and learning assessments. Easy access to WCU's Education students mean our students get a variety of approaches and perspectives. It also helps us prepare the teachers of tomorrow as they work under our full time staff.
  • Standards Based Grading- Standards-based grading is a system that focuses on the effectiveness of instruction and the mastery of skills or standards for a specific subject. We believe the focus should center on the content taught rather than a letter grade. Students achieve a 1-4 on standards covered in the classroom and have opportunities to revisit standards that they have yet to master. Students, parents/guardians, and teachers better understand areas of focus for learning than in a traditional A-F grading system.
  • Flexible seating- We don’t keep students in rows of identical desks and chairs. Students have opportunities to sit and learn in a variety of chairs and stools, and our tables are movable, many café-style or include a dry erase surface.



Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child

Through the collaborative efforts of fulltime TCS staff and WCU faculty, students experience a variety of activities and resources including physical education, music and arts activities, leadership experiences, and mentorship from experts in a variety of academic fields. We adapt our offerings over time to best meet the needs of our students and we pull from a range of academic programs including but not limited to parks and recreation, music, theater and studio arts, engineering, business, nursing, and leadership. We regularly dedicate time for students to engage with interests outside of the traditional academics which help students learn more about themselves and others. More information can be found on our Enrichment page.

Community of Care

At the Catamount School, we maintain a team of university and school personnel with expertise in teaching, psychology, physical health and more to support the academic, physical and emotional needs of all students. Our school has developed a comprehensive team of experts to provide Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) to improve student success. In doing so we provide a community of care that ensures our class-wide and unique student needs are met.

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