Inclusive: Supported by a diverse community of passionate and prepared adults who are united in their commitment to being responsive to students’ needs and reflective about how and when to better serve students and their families.
Growing: Curious about and motivated through relevant and interesting learning
Radical Problem-solvers: Supported — through a commitment to rigor and excellence — to become radical problem-solvers in their community and the broader world
Connected to their community: Students know their unique identities (as people and as learners) and are seen, heard and valued for who they are.
In SY23-24, we are continuing to implement a strong focus across academics and social-emotional learning (SEL) in order to help our Preppies succeed, and make sure they feel seen, understood, and loved.
DC Prep Culture in Three Parts
All of our students engage in learning about social-emotional skills which helps them to reflect on their own Values, to build self-awareness and self-management skills, and supports them to grow in their social awareness and relationship skills and responsible decision-making. This is done individually and as part of their classroom community, with support from an advisory teacher. The work that we’re doing now is based on an updated SEL framework and benefits from much more extensive and intentional, explicit instruction, opportunities for independent self-reflection, and collaborative discovery through circles.
These skills are then reinforced throughout the day, across all subjects. While we’ve always known that SEL and academic learning aren’t separate (SEL supports and enables academic learning) we’re actively working to integrate academics and SEL in a new, comprehensive way.
What is UDL?
Universal Design Learning (UDL) is a framework to guide the design of learning environments that are accessible and challenging for all. Ultimately, the goal of UDL is to support learners to become “expert learners” who are, each in their own way, purposeful and motivated, resourceful and knowledgeable, and strategic and goal driven. UDL aims to change the design of the environment rather than to change the learner. When environments are intentionally designed to reduce barriers, all learners can engage in rigorous, meaningful learning.
UDL at DC Prep – “All Means All”
UDL encourages educators to provide multiple means of engagement, representation and action and expression to spark students’ curiosity. Approaching learning through a UDL framework allows students to learn the what, why and how of the content. UDL helps lessons be accessible to all from the start, rather than differentiating or adapting structures that don’t work for each student. Knowing our students as learners and people makes the difference in Universal Design for Learning implementation.