Paul Smith School House Model

"Kids First"

All kids CAN and they ALL belong to us as a staff!

As teacher leaders, the staff at Paul Smith School initiated and adopted a school structure which provides each student an environment where the focus is on developing and enhancing each child's social & emotional well being, in addition to ensuring that each child's physical needs are meet before asking them to challenge themselves in a school environment.

Through a process of self reflection, the teachers of PSS made the commitment to develop a culture and climate that would support each student in their growth, which must include focusing on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs before Bloom's Taxonomy.

Through this work, we wanted to change the structures associated with teaching and learning. We also wanted to create a school environment that infuses pride and joy in our school and our work as educators. We believe that it is essential that students enjoy coming to school and have fun learning. The staff at PSS developed a continuum of learning in all areas of growth and learning. This included rewriting our report cards as standards based reports to build parents' understanding of the learning targets their child has mastered and those they are working to develop and master. Throughout this process we continue to build the following components fo our House Model:

  • Mindset shift to anything is possible when we work together!

  • A collaborative Leadership Model

  • Building bridges with our community through better communication and school-wide community based activities and projects.

Infusing Joy! Celebrating who we are and the work we do...constructing a community built on trust, understanding and collaborating along the way is essential.

As a result of this work, Paul Smith School is designed in wings which are defined as "houses". Each house, holds at least one kindergarten, first grade, second grade and third grade. This layout, builds teams of teachers working together to develop student growth along a continuum which is a shared responsibility.

We began with four houses, each named after a prominent family or business in the history of Franklin. The original houses were: Daniell, Griffin, Odell and Sulloway. After the first year of implementation, we reduced the number of houses to three due to the difficulty in managing four houses with only three wings. The three functioning houses are Griffin, Odell and Sulloway. Each house has a mascot: Odell Owls, Griffin Foxes and Sulloway Bears. Through these houses we will expose our students to the History of Franklin and the wildlife of New Hampshire.

Each year, we work to improve our work and since the initial implementation of the House Model we have institutionalized Response to Instruction and provided Tier II services to students in literacy and math.

As we develop and enhance our motto, "Kids First" we have added many supportive structures and resources to our daily practice which support the diverse and ever changing needs of our students. Our "Caught Doing Good" Program focuses on all of the good things our students do on a daily basis.

Our students' needs associated with sensory integration facilitated professional development training for our staff and the development of a sensory program which supports all of our students. This has been achieved through sensory tools including a sensory room, sensory paths and most recently a sensory wall. These tools are available to all of our students through out the day.

Our training and support for students continues to grow. In a very short time, our teachers have developed learning progressions in math, developed a deeper understanding of Number Sense and the importance of number sense as the foundational skills for understanding the patterns of mathematics.

Our ultimate goal is to optimize teaching to reach all learners, which encompasses a focused process to improve and increase each child's capacity to learn and grow in all developmental areas (physical, social, emotional and academic through the use of common structure and strategies facilitated by a collaborative approach, which is personalized for each student.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs