State Report Card Narrative for 2016-2017
Jefferson Elementary School is located on Corn Hollow Road in the Succasunna section of suburban Roxbury Township. We have four sections of Grade One and three sections of grades K, 2, 3 and 4. Jefferson School embraces utilizing the least restrictive environment to educate all students. We are proud to offer an inclusive classroom at each grade level, where co-teaching occurs. We also house the district’s preschool disabled program. We have approximately 340 students and 55 faculty members working together towards student achievement. All instructional staff and support staff participates in professional learning communities to enhance instruction in a collaborative manner.
We support the district’s vision; “Preparing the children of today for tomorrow,” by providing a state of the art instructional design. At Jefferson School, we strive to challenge students at their optimal learning level, through differentiated instruction. We also have a full In Support of Learning program for students below benchmark progress and a selective Gifted and Talented program, focused on STEAM, in grades three and four, for those that excel academically. The instructional staff is committed to effectively implementing the district curriculum by ensuring their own deep understanding of the pedagogy that supports it.
English Language Arts is taught through balanced literacy. Teachers utilize the model of Reading and Writing workshop and creatively integrate authentic learning experiences for children. Mathematics instruction includes real-world problem solving and rigorous math practices embedded throughout the curriculum. We use Math in Focus as our primary resource in this area. Students also participate in Science and Social Studies, where we strive to focus on inquiry based learning, including projects and problems. Curriculum in Science was rewritten this past year to align to the Next Generation Science Standards. Students participate in Art, Music, Physical Education, Media Center, Technology, Enrichment, Guidance and Spanish throughout their educational program.
Jefferson School believes that technology is a helpful tool used to enhance student engagement. Every classroom has three desktop computers for student use. We also have a full technology laboratory that is utilized throughout the day. We have recently purchased two full Chromebook carts and an IPad cart that is housed in our “Learning Lounge.” This room is dedicated to technology use and STEAM exploration. Our teachers continue to participate in professional development to continue learning about Google Classroom and other formats to embed technology into instruction. A plethora of technology subscriptions is accessible to all students and is encouraged for both school and home usage.
Our motto, “Learning: A Shared Responsibility,” describes the climate and culture at Jefferson School. We believe that the success of our students is attributed to our strong home-school connection. We view Jefferson School as the hub of our community and encourage parents to fully participate in the educational lives of our children. The school welcomes scouting, art classes, STEAM classes, coding and many other community programs for after school enrichment through the Community School portal. Our PTA is incredibly active at Jefferson School. The PTA volunteers enhance the elementary school experience by providing Cultural Arts programming, Family Fun Nights, sponsorship of Field Trips and many other opportunities for families to come together and celebrate the community.
The most essential relationship that exists within our school is one between a teacher and his or her students. The faculty shares the common understanding that emotions and learning are inseparable, and that each child must feel safe, valued, and cared for before he or she is receptive to challenges of a rigorous curriculum. Our embedded character education program focuses on the “11 Principles of Character Education” through Character.org. We utilize the book, “Have you Filled a Bucket Today?” as our centerpiece of our community. Students are encouraged and praised for being bucket fillers! At Jefferson School we understand that in teaching children, we are touching their minds and their hearts. We are proud of our students and excited to see the impact they will make upon our future.
The principal of Jefferson Elementary School is Melissa Cosgrove and can be contacted at email@example.com.