Classes at ECDS are vertically integrated to expose students to new material based on academic preparedness rather than just age. An excellent education is not one size fits all. With this in mind, we seek to form the educational process around the child – not the other way around.
Traditional grade levels are, at best, only an approximation of where any given child might actually be in his or her academic growth. Easton Country Day School more accurately designs each individual child’s evolving academic experience by utilizing vertical integration.
Vertical integration involves the deliberate mixing of ages in the classroom. In these classrooms, younger children have the opportunity to experience peer instruction, which provides them with a different “slant” on the material they are learning. Older children have the chance to cement their understanding and glimpse the natural progression by explaining material to others.
Vertical integration also allows us to adapt an individual’s academic experience to his strengths and progress. For example, classes such as math are taught at the same time of day to all grade levels. This means that a child who is on par for his age in most material, but advanced in math, can simply attend a more advanced math class without being taken out of grade level or having his friendships jeopardized. Likewise, a child who needs to spend more time with grade level math may do so without interfering in his academic progression. These types of adaptations are, by design, a natural and ubiquitous part of life at ECDS. They are considered quite ordinary and routine by students and teachers alike.