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The 2017-18 school year will roll out a new school-wide character education program called “The Wapiti Way.” Among the various components we are putting in place to support this new initiative is a digital program from Wonder Media that allows students in grades 3 – 8 to create value-based, animated videos. K – 2nd grade students will continue their use of Wonder Grove. We are also extremely pleased to begin a Mindfulness program using the Mindful Schools curriculum, which will expand to all WSD students and teachers. And finally, the student-run Hope Squad, which has been so successful in MIddle School under the direction of Megan Hurster, is expanding to grades 4 and 5 this year. Michelle Smietana will be the advisor to the program.

WSD Lower School teachers will implement a new discovery math program by using the Bridges Math, a blend of direct instruction, structured investigation, and open exploration, and by continuing the school’s use of “rich tasks” pedagogy. The Bridges program encourages students to develop deep understanding of mathematical concepts, proficiency with key skills, and an ability to solve complex and novel problems.

WSD teachers and students will be spending more time outdoors, more time in kinesthetic learning, and a lot more time playing community games throughout the school day. On any given day, one pod or another, or individual classes will be playing games to develop social and cognitive skills, emotional maturity, self-confidence—and to have fun! WSD’s Day to Play initiative will also provide time for teachers to have fun in open court on designated days after school.