Since 1981, Center for Responsive Schools, Inc. (CRS) has grown from a small laboratory school and consulting group to the nationally recognized developer of the Responsive Classroom approach to teaching.

Here are some milestones in CRS’s journey from shoestring operation to nationwide organization:

Launch of the Responsive Classroom Course for Middle School Educators and other services and products designed specifically for middle schools.

100,000 visitors come to the Responsive Classroom website each month.

Center for Responsive Schools, Inc. (CRS) becomes the new name for Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc. (NEFC).

Lora Hodges joins NEFC as executive director.

The University of Virginia research team behind the Responsive Classroom Efficacy Study (RCES) releases findings from their U.S. Department of Education-funded three-year, randomized, controlled study of 350 teachers and 2900 students.

The Responsive Classroom approach is one of 23 programs included in Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs (Preschool and Elementary Edition) a landmark guide developed by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

In July, the Responsive Classroom page on Facebook reaches 10,000 likes.

Yardsticks: Children in the Classroom Ages 4–14, by Chip Wood, has sold over 200,000 total copies.

The free Responsive Classroom Newsletter is mailed to about 80,000 subscribers quarterly.

35,000 visitors come to the Responsive Classroom website each month.

NEFC sells over 120,000 copies of its books and other publications each year. The Morning Meeting Book, The First Six Weeks of School, Teaching Children to Care, and Yardsticks have each sold over 150,000 total copies.

Caltha Crowe’s second book, Sammy and His Behavior Problems: Stories and Strategies from a Teacher’s Year, is published in April. The audiobook version came out in May.

NEFC publishes the Morning Meeting Professional Development Kit and the Teacher Language Professional Development Kit, and the Morning Meeting Professional Development Kit wins the AEP’s Distinguished Achievement and Golden Lamp awards.

Dr. Sara Rimm-Kaufman and colleagues at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, Center for the Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, begin work in 24 schools for the Responsive Classroom Efficacy Study (RCES). This multi-year, $2.9 million study will look at Responsive Classroom practices, with a special emphasis on math teaching and learning. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

The number of people taking NEFC- and Origins-sponsored workshops has climbed to 6,000 per year in 50 locations. In addition, NEFC and Origins together provide over 400 days of on-site consulting per year to schools and districts nationwide.

Dr. Sara Rimm-Kaufman, principal investigator for the SALS study, receives the Joseph E. Zins Purpose Award for early-career professionals who are contributing substantially to the field of social and emotional learning in schools. The honor was bestowed by the Collaborative for Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), based at the University of Chicago.

The Power of Our Words: Teacher Language That Helps Children Learn by Paula Denton is published and rapidly becomes one of NEFC’s bestselling titles.

University of Virginia researchers release findings from their Social and Academic Learning Study (SALS). Key findings associate Responsive Classroom practices with higher math and reading scores, improved student social skills, more high-quality instruction, and a greater sense of teacher self-efficacy.

The first Responsive Classroom Schools Conference brings school leaders together at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

NEFC purchases and renovates a building near its offices in Turners Falls, MA. This new workshop and training space is named the Responsive Classroom Center and dedicated to NEFC founders Ruth Sidney Charney, Marlynn K. Clayton, Jay Lord, and Chip Wood.

NEFC moves its offices to new, expanded headquarters in Turners Falls, MA.

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) identifies Responsive Classroom as an exemplary social and emotional learning program in Safe and Sound: An Educational Leader’s Guide to Evidence-Based Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Programs.

Roxann Kriete becomes NEFC’s executive director.

With funding from the DuBarry Foundation, researchers from the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, Center for the Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, launch the Social and Academic Learning Study (SALS), a three-year quasi-experimental, longitudinal study on the effectiveness of the Responsive Classroom approach.

Greenfield Center School becomes an independent nonprofit entity.

The First Six Weeks of School by Paula Denton and Roxann Kriete is published. Winner of an Independent Publisher award, the book has helped countless teachers structure the beginning weeks of school in ways that lay a foundation for productive learning all year long. NEFC continues to publish at least one major book for elementary educators each subsequent year.

The Morning Meeting Book by Roxann Kriete is published, providing teachers across the country with an in-depth resource for using Morning Meeting to launch each school day. The development of this book and others in the “Strategies for Teachers” series was supported by the Shinnyo-En Foundation.

Origins, a nonprofit educational organization in Minneapolis, Minnesota, becomes a licensee of NEFC and begins offering Responsive Classroom professional development services in the Midwest.

Yardsticks: Children in the Classroom Ages 4–14 by Chip Wood is published. This reference on child development and its classroom implications has since sold over 200,000 copies.

Teaching Children to Care by Ruth Sidney Charney is published. The book, now in its second edition, has since influenced the classroom management practice of thousands of teachers.

NEFC secures its first major consulting contract, working with public school teachers in Washington, D.C. Soon after, the term “Responsive Classroom” is coined to describe the teaching approach that NEFC had developed and is sharing with elementary educators.

The first issue of NEFC’s newsletter is published and mailed to 9,000 educators.

The first NEFC summer week-long workshop is offered (in Augusta, ME).

NEFC publishes its first book, A Notebook for Teachers, about child development with a focus on five-, six-, and seven-year-olds.

Six public school teachers meet in January to discuss an idea that would become Northeast Foundation for Children. They open their doors in August with 40 students in its lab school, Greenfield Center School, in Greenfield, MA.

Environmental Policy

We at Center for Responsive Schools (CRS), developer of the Responsive Classroom approach to teaching, realize that like any organization, we create an environmental footprint in the normal course of our work. We are committed to minimizing this footprint in our local and national operations. In doing our daily tasks and meeting our long-range strategic goals, we strive to take into account our mission, economic concerns, and the environmental impact of our actions. Taking care of the environment in this way is consistent with the overall goals and values of CRS and the Responsive Classroom approach.

CRS’s environmental policy statement was developed by staff members and approved by our Board of Directors in 2008. As a result of this process, we recognized actions we were already taking to minimize the environmental impact of our work, and we began doing more. For instance, we:

  • Print our publications on paper with recycled content whenever possible
  • Support carpooling and use of alternative modes of transportation by staff
  • Encourage ridesharing among workshop participants
  • Use electronic means for correspondence when we can
  • Consider energy-savings ratings when we buy office equipment and appliances
  • Offer free access to articles from current and past issues of the Responsive Classroom newsletter online
  • Use office technologies to reduce use of paper in our everyday work