Swan School

  • Washington


2345 Kuhn Street
Port Townsend
United States

About Us

You will find this is a very special place for children and their parents. Our community offers a diverse program focusing on the talents and needs of your child. The holistic focus is both our heritage and our strength, which has been evolving since Swan School began in 1983.

We pride ourselves in putting children first and our core question has always been “What is best for children? What supports the educational needs of Swan School students?” Beginning in 2012 Swan School enhanced its strong program by balancing the school calendar. Even though our local economy has changed drastically since the days when most families earned their livelihood from the land, today’s traditional school schedule still mirrors the earlier need for family farm labor in the growing months. In addition to the agricultural context, the traditional academic calendar also best supports a school structure that has children organized into grade levels with same-aged peers, a structure originally put in place during the industrial revolution. In the single-grade structure the assumption is that all children learn at the same pace and have roughly the same needs based on their age. Curriculum in this structure is very systematic and tied directly to the school calendar – each grade level can be viewed as a step on a staircase. The effect on each child’s education is to lock them into blocks where learning is experienced one step at a time.

<img src="http://swanschool.net/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/DSCF4456-225x300.jpg" height="300" width="225">A multiage school structure, on the other hand, views learning as a continuous process – more closely resembling a path than a staircase. Children follow their path with numerous ups and downs that often follow their own growth spurts. Although there are common goals and benchmarks, multiage continuous learning structures are much more individualized – and more natural. A balanced school calendar best supports this structure and the manner in which children learn – continuously. A schedule that distributes time at school and time away from school more equitably throughout the year makes more sense given children’s natural learning rhythm.

Our multiage classrooms and balanced calendar are both a large part of our philosophy here at Swan of doing what is best for children, and we are always growing and learning to best suit the needs of our community of parents, students, staff, and faculty.