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A Lifelong Love of Learning

Responsive Classroom

Our social emotional learning framework is centered around the Responsive Classroom model and practices. 

The Four Key Domains of Responsive Classroom:

Engaging Academics: Learner-centered lessons that are participatory, appropriately challenging, fun, and relevant and promote curiosity, wonder, and interest.

Positive Community: A safe, predictable, joyful, and inclusive environment where all students have a sense of belonging and significance.

Effective Management: A calm and orderly learning environment that promotes autonomy, responsibility, and high engagement in learning.

Developmentally Responsive Teaching: Basing all decisions for teaching and discipline upon research and knowledge of students’ social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development.

Math

Bridges in Mathematics is a comprehensive PK–5 curriculum that equips teachers to fully implement the grade level standards for mathematics in a manner that is rigorous, coherent, engaging, and accessible to all Bright School learners. The curriculum focuses on developing students’ deep understandings of mathematical concepts, proficiency with key skills, and ability to solve complex and novel problems. Bridges blends direct instruction, structured investigation, and open exploration. It taps into the intelligence and strengths of all students by presenting material that is as linguistically, visually, and kinesthetically rich as it is mathematically powerful for all of our Bright School students.

Balanced Literacy

Bright School follows the balanced literacy method within reading, writing, phonics and word study. This framework applies to all grades, JPK-5. Our Reading, Writing, and Phonics Units of Study curriculum by Lucy Calkins and The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project meets the needs of all learners. The balanced literacy framework and units of study help teachers address each child’s individual learning, explicitly teach strategies students will use not only the day they are taught but whenever they need them, support small-group work and conferring with multiple opportunities for personalizing instruction, build choice and assessment-based learning into the very design of the curriculum, and help students work with engagement so that teachers are able to coach individuals and lead small groups.

Reading Workshop
At Bright School, we are building lifelong readers within the Reading Workshop. Our K-5 Units of Study for Teaching Reading offers a framework for teaching that provides a comprehensive, cross curriculum in which skills are introduced, developed and deepened across multiple genres. This program provides explicit instruction in reading skills and strategies and offers extended time for reading, while providing strategic assessments to help teachers monitor progress, provide feedback, and help students set clear goals for their reading work. 

Writing Workshop
Our K-5 Units of Study for Teaching Writing dives deep into the various genres of writing: opinion/argumentative, information, and narrative writing. The writing workshop method supports explicit instruction and provides rich opportunities for practice in a fun and meaningful way. Teachers are able to assess students’ writing to develop students’ use of self-monitoring strategies and set them on trajectories of growth. All Bright School students take pride and ownership in their writing as powerful authors. 

Phonics & Word Study
Our grades K-2 phonics program within the Units of Study showcases a lean and concise instructional pathway in phonics that is realistic and taps into kids’ skills and energy for tackling the fabulous challenge of learning to read and write. This program provides high-leverage phonics concepts and strategies in a way that keeps pace with students’ reading and writing and helps them understand when, how, and why they can use phonics to read and write. Our teachers use delightfully fun and engaging storylines, classroom mascots, songs, chants, rhymes, and games to help students fall head over heels in love with phonics and to create a joyous community of learners.

Our grades 3-5 word study program gives students direct instruction for decoding, spelling, and understanding multisyllabic words. This approach enables students to master the multisyllabic words and patterns they would encounter from the third grade reading level and beyond. Within each word study pattern, students first work with word parts and syllables, then combine syllables into whole words. Exercises increase reading and spelling proficiency by using words in context and in short, content-area passages that build comprehension and fluency. 

Teachers of Grades 1-5

Jana Evans

First Grade

Joined Bright faculty in 2016
B.S., University of Tennessee, Knoxville

MacKenzie O'Neal

First Grade

Joined Bright School in 2016
B.S., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Shannan Portwood

First Grade
Joined Bright faculty in 2021
B.S., Valdosta State University

Denise Hurlbut

Second Grade

Joined Bright faculty in 2007
B.S., Tennessee Temple University 
M.Ed., Trevecca Nazarene University

Lauren Pritchett

Second Grade
Joined Bright faculty in 2021
B.S., Samford University

Margaret White

Second Grade

Joined Bright faculty in 2020
B.S., University of Georgia
M.Ed., The Citadel

Cindy Womack

Third Grade

Joined Bright faculty in 2016
B.S., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Claire Millsaps

Third Grade

Joined Bright faculty in 2021
B.A., East Tennessee State University
M.A., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Maggie McGuire

Third Grade

Joined Bright faculty in 2020
B.S., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
M.Ed., Carson Newman University

Amanda Angel

Fourth Grade

Joined Bright faculty in 2016
B.S., University of Tennessee, Knoxville
M.A., University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Amanda Dickson

Fourth Grade

Joined Bright faculty in 2020
B.S., University of South Florida

Kristen Von Glahn

Fourth Grade
Joined Bright faculty in 2020
B.F.A., University of Miami
M.Ed., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Allie Hyer

Fifth Grade

Joined Bright faculty in 2016
B.A., Union College
M.Ed., University of Pennsylvania

Ann O'Brien

Fifth Grade

Joined Bright faculty in 2017
B.S., State University of New York, College at Geneseo
M.Ed., Fordham University

Wendy Rogers

Fifth Grade

Joined Bright faculty in 2021
B.S., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
M.Ed., Lincoln Memorial University

School Affiliations