— Walk in my shoes and you’ll know that…

As part of their Character Education curriculum, fifth-grade students shared their personal stories with the school. As they transition to middle school, their footsteps in the hallway enabled us to walk in their shoes.

In this lesson, students were encouraged to think about their feelings and emotions. They wrote their responses on footsteps that they placed in a hallway that leads to the middle school. This form of art intervention allowed the rest of the school to get involved as well. Other students walking by would often stop to read and follow the steps, usually touched by the feelings and situations represented there.

Students practiced kindness and compassion, and also celebrated uniqueness in our inclusive community!

Art Intervention Kindness Footsteps Their footsteps in the hallway allow us to walk in their shoes. Their footsteps in the hallway allow us to walk in their shoes.


— Colonial Day

As part of Social Studies, Fifth Grade students enjoyed “living” the life of a colonist and “set sail” for the “New World”. They played a simulation game where colonists (students) travel, establish a colony and pull “fate cards” to determine how their colony survives. Each group can choose to attack or trade with natives or other colonists. Like our first settlers, colonists needed to plan their daily labor, ration food and supplies, and make life or death decisions. At last, students celebrated Colonial Day on March 17th. They dressed up and lived the life of a colonist for a day, and ended the experience with a “Liber-Tea” and dance!

Colonial Day

Colonial Day

Colonial Day

Colonial Day

Colonial Day

Colonial Day

Colonial Day

Thanks to teachers and parent volunteers for making Colonial Day such a great learning experience!


Building Character through Athletics

SportsmanshipFor the past three years, Sea Crest School has been awarded the Smith Cup for outstanding performance in the Small School Intermediate League. Of all of the schools in the league, our teams continually have the highest number of first and second place standings. In addition, at least 80 percent of Sea Crest Middle School students participate in a team sport each year.

“We’re no bigger than the other schools, but we have great, enthusiastic kids who want to participate,” says Director of Athletics Craig Strong. “Winning is not our emphasis, and that’s why we win. We don’t focus on the scoreboard. We focus on getting better every day.”

Coach Strong believes that our success in Athletics stems from strong Physical Education courses, led by Katie Moore, and school-wide character education.

“The important element for Coach Moore and myself has always been character development. We not only expect risk-taking, we celebrate it when we see it in our daily P.E. classes. Risk-taking becomes a habit for our children, and when it comes time to try out for a sport, they’ve learned to put themselves out there and not be afraid.”

Coach Strong would also like to thank our families: “Our parents drive to away events, communicate with coaches, and help make sure our athletes get their schoolwork done. We have very supportive parents. They’re always cheering positively for our teams, and that makes a big difference.”


Learning and the Brain

Sea Crest’s strengthened Student Success process has increased our school’s focus on neuroscience. Each day, we are learning more about how memory, attention, and perception change over the course of a child’s development and how we might adjust our approach in order to maximize learning.

One example is “Learning and the Brain,” our new weekly core course for Sixth Grade students. Taught by Student Support Coordinator Laurie Schoeffler, the goal of this class is to help Sixth Graders better understand the way their minds work so that they can gain metacognitive abilities.

“I am passionate about the intersection of neuroscience and education,” said Ms. Schoeffler, who has been a member of the Learning and the Brain Society for ten years. “I am most interested in understanding how mindset, executive function, and social-emotional development are integral to the learning process. Understanding our children as the unique beings they are brings the joy into each day for me! Two books top my recommended reading list: Raising a Self-Disciplined Child by Brooks & Goldstein and Brain Rules by John Medina.”

Another example of our work with learning and the brain is our partnership with Dr. Melina Uncapher and Dr. Adam Gazzaley, experts in the field of applied neuroscience. Current Third, Fifth, and Seventh Grade students are piloting an innovative study for a cognitive neuroscience research lab at UCSF. With parents’ permission, students are undergoing interactive assessments and using brain/body trainers in small groups. Our school is helping to build the foundation for a large longitudinal study that could change the way educators approach neuroscience.

Watch Dr. Gazzaley’s TED Talk:


Coding and Computer Science at Sea Crest

Our Computer Science program extends far beyond one week of Hour of Code. In fact, we use Hour of Code as a kickoff to our second trimester Unit of Coding for the Lower School classes. In Middle School, we continue to offer a variety of Computer Science Explorations, including a full-year Computer Science class that allows students to dive deeply into Javascript.

We have been offering Computer Science opportunities for more than a decade. In the early years, Comp Sci was limited to Middle School Coding Electives, which focused on Scratch, Karel the Robot, Alice, Greenfoot, and HTML. In 2012, we expanded our program to begin in Second Grade, using online resources and Pro-Bot programmable floor robots. By the time the first Hour of Code event was held in 2013, there were many more offerings tailored for younger students, such as Kodable and other iPad-based apps that taught programming basics. We now offer Computer Science from Kindergarten through Eighth Grade and are in the process of integrating physical computing using ProBots, Makey Makeys, WeDo Robotics, OzoBots, and Arduino.

So why do we teach all students Computer Science? Does everyone need to be a programmer when they grow up? The answer is that Computer Science can apply to every field: our students learn logic, problem-solving, and design skills. They take complex ideas and break them down into smaller parts. They work collaboratively and with persistence in the face of frustration. The creative aspects of coding are also often overlooked: creating interactive stories, animations, games, and websites. Coding, in fact, is all about turning ideas into reality.

“I like the terms ‘hard fun’ or ‘healthy struggle’ to describe some of the learning processes associated with programming,” says Technology Integration Specialist Ellyn Kohrs. “One of my students in the Full Year Programming Exploration recently said, ‘It is very fun and it makes me think hard.'”


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Sea Crest School is nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies, employment practices and all other operations. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, citizenship, national or ethnic origin gender, sexual orientation, or gender identification in the administration of our educational policies, admission policies, tuition assistance programs and athletic or other school-administered programs. © 2018 SEA CREST SCHOOL
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