ECS recognizes the power of relationships and culture building as a mechanism for building consistent academic growth for students. Looping keeps groups of students together for two or more years with the same educator(s). This approach to instructional delivery has been researched and implemented successfully for decades in Germany, Japan, Israel, and Montessori Schools. Although little quantitative research exists on the benefits of looping, qualitative research supports the process and indicates that looping has several advantages for both students and teachers (Laboratory at Brown University, 1997)
- Educators gain extra teaching time. “Getting-to-know-you” time is replaced with instructional purpose and specialized attention to student’s academic and socio-emotional needs. ECS values every instructional minute of the school year, and values the expertise of its educators around the practice of teaching and learning.
- Educator knowledge about a child’s intellectual strengths and weaknesses increases in a way that is impossible to achieve in a single year. Consistent with meeting a student’s needs, looping allows an educator to know students as “learners” and then provide enrichment, challenge, or re-teaching in a more efficient, effective way. Knowing student’s strengths and weaknesses also allows educators to understand best methods to engage learners in the process.
- Long-term educator/student relationships improve and can lead to increased student performance. ECS spends time and effort on relationships, community development, and character education. Trust between educator and learner are a critical component to the culture at ECS.
- Long-term educator/student relationships improve job satisfaction for teachers. ECS values excellent educators, and yearns to provide a work environment that keeps the brightest and the best in front of students. As educators feel an increased sense of accomplishment with students, ECS hopes to retain outstanding educators and support innovation in education throughout the career of the teacher.
- Long-term relationships result in an emotional and intellectual climate that encourages thinking, risk-taking, and involvement. ECS supports student intellectual growth over time, and strongly encourages students to engage in exploration and inquiry while recognizing the power of academic risk-taking.
- Looping encourages a stronger sense of community and family among parents, students, and teachers. ECS recognizes the power of strong, collaborative relationships with the adults that care for students outside of the school setting. By developing the family relationships over multiple years, educators and family members can adopt a more “team-based” approach to supporting students throughout their educational career.