Responsive Classroom

Ross embraces the Responsive Classroom approach to the Social-Emotional Academic Development (SEAD) of students.  The goal of Responsive Classroom is the creation of safe and joyful learning communities where students will be empowered and engaged. This means we strive to not do for children what they can do for themselves to promote independence and agency.

Some components of Responsive Classroom that you will see evidenced in classrooms at Ross include:

  • Classroom Names
  • Student Self-Portraits
  • Student Hopes and Dreams
  • Beginning each day with Morning Meeting
  • Closing each day with Closing Meeting
  • Student informed classroom expectations and responses
  • Student responsibility for care of the classroom materials and spaces
  • Academic Choices

Interested in learning more?

Guiding Principles

The Responsive Classroom approach is informed by the work of educational theorists and the experiences of exemplary classroom teachers. Six principles guide this approach:

  1. Teaching social and emotional skills is as important as teaching academic content.
  2. How we teach is as important as what we teach.
  3. Great cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.
  4. How we work together as adults to cre­ate a safe, joyful, and inclusive school environment is as important as our individual contribution or competence.
  5. What we know and believe about our students—individually, culturally, developmentally—informs our expec­tations, reactions, and attitudes about those students.
  6. Partnering with families—knowing them and valuing their contributions—is as important as knowing the children we teach.​

Suggested Helpful Reading/Resources for Families/Caregivers

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Faber and Mazlisch

How to Raise an Adult (and Break Free of the Over Parenting Trap) by Lythcott-Haims

The Blessings of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel

Parenting with Love and Logic by Cline and Fay

Duct Tape Parenting by Hoefle and Kajitani

Parent Encouragement Program


Suggested Chores for Developmental Levels