Student Life

Encouraging critical thinking while connecting to the world boys live in.

life at seattle school for boys

Students at Seattle School for Boys engage in diverse learning opportunities through a project-based curriculum that accommodates individual learners, small groups, and large groups in collaborative inquiry. Throughout the learning process, students are encouraged to ideate, think critically, and develop original thoughts while connecting content to the real world.

Keystone Projects

Toward the end of each quarter, the boys at SSB present interdisciplinary keystone projects to highlight acquired skills and showcase flexible levels of understanding.  The keystone projects are directly linked to service and are designed as the building block that solidifies the edifice of the learner’s work. 

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SSB’s keystone projects, presented towards the end of each quarter, are iterative models and reminds the learner that the work they begin is not a singular and isolated task. These projects remind boys that the work they produce is continual, collaborative, and open for revisions. While boys understand that their work connects to a larger community, they will receive support and advice from experts in their respective competencies.

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Daily Schedule

Our interactive daily schedule is unified with our mission.  It contains research-based ingredients that support the overall development of a middle school boy.  Baked into the academic schedule is structured time for boys to strengthen their executive function along with structured time to foster social and emotional growth.

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To promote interdisciplinary teaching and experiential learning, boys will have four rotating 65-minute periods every Monday, Tuesday,Thursday,and Friday.  We believe having fewer classes in a day maximizes deep learning opportunities and minimizes cognitive overload.  On Wednesdays, SSB will begin class one hour later.  Programming and academic support will still be available at the normal start time, but this hour is dedicated to project completion, one-on-one support, kinesthetic activities, and professional development.
This scheduling method aligns with the spacing effect, which states that students learn more effectively when they study content several times spaced out over a longer time span, rather than trying to learn it in short periods of time resulting in the habit of massed studying.  Moreover, the spacing effect makes the next study session more challenging. As a result, it helps to foster resilience and build knowledge that is both flexible and long-lasting. This healthy cognitive challenge is what Clark and Bjork coined as “desirable difficulty.”
Our interactive schedule also allows for a 1-hourlunch (30 minutes for nourishment and 30 minutes for extracurriculars) and 10-minutepassing periods between core classes to boost healthy socialization with teachers and peers.
Each section of the day is designed to foster a holistic learning environment that recognizes each boy as a unique individual.  This interactive schedule has also been built to positively impact boys outside of the classroom.  Our enrichment periods during the week allow time for boys to complete assignments at school, which decreases the amount of homework each night.  At SSB, we want to encourage boys to explore their curiosities and develop a balance between extracurricular interests and academic passions as we believe this blend leads to the development of a healthy identity.

Technology

Our academic environment has built healthy communication structures that socialize boys into compassionate and intellectual individuals. We believe human interaction is key to building compassionate behaviors. This may seem obvious, but today teens have become more connected to their screens than their natural environment.
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Our academic environment has built healthy communication structures that socialize boys into compassionate and intellectual individuals for the twenty-first century.  We believe human interaction is key to building compassionate behaviors.  This may seem obvious, but in our growing technological world, teens have become more connected to their screens than their natural environment. The average teenager will check their phone about 150 times per day, which consumes about six minutes of every hour – creating a distance of in-person communication and a disorientation of community.  At SSB phones will be stored away until the final bell and technology will be used to acquire and extend academic knowledge.
Often times when technology is used in the classroom, the information gathered is mistakenly equated with knowledge because it provides facts and data.  At SSB we teach boys to transfer that information to their long-term memory, which then leads to critical thinking, actual knowledge, and original thoughts.  In short, we teach boys mental models such as “memory consolidation” when using technology.  We believe that technology should be used to minimize distractions and interruptions, allowing students to maximize creativity and enlightenment.  We want the boys at SSB to engage with technology in a way that supports their understanding of academic experiences, the facts they are learning, and the conversations they are having.

Transition Time & Organizational Support

Advisory groups and highlighted strategies intended to support organization and executive function.

Traveling Tuesdays

Collaboration with other schools, local businesses and organizations.

Thinker Thursdays

Opportunities to reflect learning, strengthening analysis and articulation of concepts.

Athletics & After School Activities

After school athletics programs rotating in fall (soccer), winter (basketball), and spring (ultimate). Martial arts programs throughout the school year, addressing both physical and psychological components.

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Affinity Groups

Discussions of various “isms” and social/emotional support and guidance.

Community Meetings

Weekly meetings of the entire school community, allowing for open communication, understanding of various perspectives, and opportunities to hone public speaking skills in a comfortable, supportive, organic environment.