Multi-Age Group

A four-year program at B.R.S. Initiated by teachers
Developed with the collaboration of interested parents.
Designed to recognize and work with children as centers of
power, creativity, and intelligence.

Begun in 1991
Established 1992


Adult teachers: Louise Golden, Rich Burness, Kris Hart-Rooney, and Beej Ahern
Paraprofessional: Jayne Shiner

What are the key features of the program?

  • four year stability within one program
  • community building
  • time to build long-term relationships
  • extended family environment
  • varied grouping patterns
  • leadership roles for children
  • attention to individual needs
  • democratic process
  • constructivist practices
  • multiple intelligence theory

Program Development

Within the MAG program, children are recognized for their inventive, constructive and intuitive nature. Children have diverse interests, abilities and strengths. All children have potential that needs an environment of flexibility and trust to find expression. The MAG Program encourages diversity in areas of study, exploration and invention. The importance of product and process are an integral part of the program. There is student-determined as well as teacher-determined project work. There is both individual and group work. While delivery may differ, program development falls within the guidelines of the district curriculum requirements.

Student Development

MAG recognizes that children have a need and a right to share the educational agenda with adults as part of the process of their own empowerment. MAG supports the notion of the "whole child" and is equally concerned about the affective side of the child.
Student decision making is emphasized. Personal responsibility and internal controls are important. There is an attempt to ensure student ownership for work and process. Student decisions and judgment are taken seriously and considered meaningful. Group meetings and committee work are part of the process. Students, in part, evaluate their own work. They share in the responsibility for the upkeep of their environment.

Flexible Grouping

Students within the MAG Program have an opportunity to be with chronological peers as well as peers of other ages, interests, and abilities. Students have the opportunity to sustain meaningful relationships over a longer period of time. Students are part of one chronological base group per teacher. Each base group determines its own name through consensus in the first weeks in MAG 1. There are four adult teachers for the entire student body, and the class size ratios are similar to other instructional groupings within the school. Student grouping is flexible and changes depending on the nature of the activity and the interest of the students; it is not bound solely by age. Grade titles are eliminated. Chronological base groups attend all school specials.

When do I select the MAG program?

Parents have the opportunity of selecting the Multi-Age Group following kindergarten.

Opportunities for entering the program at other years are based on a case-by-case review and space availability.

How are students chosen for the program?

A sibling preference policy is observed. If an older brother or sister is in the program, we reserve space for incoming siblings. This assists with the sense of family which is an important part of the program.
Students are placed in the program based on space availability. Should the demand exceed the number of spaces available, a lottery will be initiated.

May I visit the program?

We encourage parents who are considering MAG to attend the Information Night and the follow-up Question and Answer Night. These meetings take place toward the end of March. Parents will receive first-hand information from the teachers as well as program parents. Visitation hours are offered at the meetings.

The school has a professional collection in its Library/Media Center on multi-age practices, democracy in the classroom, child development, and resource-based learning.

Beecher Road School

Woodbridge School District

40 Beecher Road - South

Woodbridge, CT 06525

District: (203) 387-6631

Main Office: (203) 389-2195

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