Serving Preschool Through 8th Grade in the San Francisco East Bay Since 1962

New Faculty Departments Enhance Student Learning

The start of the 2021-22 school year brought some exciting new opportunities for collaboration and consistency across our program as Seven Hills restructured and formalized four departments on campus: K-8 Arts, ECE-8 Student Services, ECE-8 Environmental Stewardship, and ECE-8 Technology and Library Sciences.
These restructured departments were a partnership between classroom teachers, specialty teachers, and members of the administrative leadership team for added support.

This team approach broke down barriers to reveal the true scope and sequence of the student journey at Seven Hills. For example, the historical path of the arts program exposed students to studio art and music in Lower School before transitioning into expressive arts in Middle School. The new integrated K-8 Arts program brought a fresh new rotating schedule, with students shifting their disciplines between music, visual arts, digital arts, and theater arts each quarter—allowing them to expand their minds, discover new passions, and reap the mental benefits of different kinds of art. With the opportunity to work with the oldest and youngest students in core courses, teachers also got the chance to work with students in grade levels or divisions they hadn’t before.

Adrienne Timmons, music teacher and academic lead for the arts department, said: “As we became more collaborative as faculty, we were able to really see the student experience as a whole rather than specific to one class. As we adopted our new multidimensional approach, we saw our students, especially those who may have had preconceived notions of the arts, build confidence and see how they could have success as an artist. They became well-rounded students and we became better teachers.”

This sort of student and professional growth supports the continued investment in faculty collaboration and departments. From a formalized Student Services team developing care plans that support students’ needs over time, to an Environmental Stewardship team that inspires sustainability starting with our youngest Rainbow learners, to Technology and Library Sciences that promote the responsible use of information—this integrated approach will create a spiral of deeper thinking for students and greater continuity of learning throughout the Seven Hills journey.