Welcome to the 2015-16 school year at Elma Primary School. For those of you who are new to our building I know that you will find it to be a warm and welcoming place for students and families. I would like to extend that welcome to all of you, please feel free to stop in. I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know all of the students and their families.
Due to our enrollment we have added a fourth section of Kindergarten! We are so excited this year to welcome our new Kindergarten Teacher, Mrs. Nicole Camillo. Mrs. Camillo has been a substitute teacher in our building for the past few years so she may be a familiar face to many of you.
We also have the opportunity to welcome some new staff to our building and some staff who are changing their assignments. We will have a new fourth grade teacher this year and that is Mrs. Brooke Camillo. Mrs. Camillo was with us last year as an RTI provider. Mrs. Siverson will be teaching second grade this year and taking her place as our RTI teacher will be Mrs. Bobbi Bartholomew (who joins us from the Middle School). Mrs. Kristen Bittner will be our new Special Education Teacher (she is also coming to us from the Middle School). Mrs. Erin Watkins will be with us part time as an RTI teacher as well. Our school nurse, Mrs. Jane Zakrzewski, RN, is retiring, and we will welcome Mrs.. Jennifer Brooks, RN. Mrs. Brooks has been a nurse at the Intermediate School and most recently at the High School.
The curriculum in all of our primary buildings is focused on the development of literacy skills which include reading, writing, speaking and listening. We will continue our reading program called LEAD 21 at Grades 2-4. This program provides opportunities for our students to participate in whole group lessons, guided reading groups and read a louds. The program is accessible via the internet, allowing our students to interact with their leveled readers at home. Flexible groups will continue to allow students to be instructed at their own reading level. Opportunities for guided reading and writing, shared reading and writing, and independent reading and writing provide students with the scaffolds they need to become proficient readers and critical thinkers. Social studies and Science units are embedded in our literacy block. In addition, we have added a new program at Kindergarten and First Grade called Wonders. This program will help our students develop a strong foundation in letter identification, letter sounds and phonemic awareness which are the building blocks that are required in order to become a strong reader.
In Math, we will start the third year of our program called enVision MATH, which is aligned with the Common Core Learning Standards and is helping us meet the increased expectations for a more rigorous program. Our curriculum will continue to introduce our students to mathematical concepts and give them opportunities to practice and master these skills each year. enVision MATH also has an online program that students will be able to access to continue to practice skills at home. We will also continue our “IXL math” program, which is another online program that helps children improve their math skills through fun games and activities.
Our special area classes, which include Art, Music and Physical Education, provide opportunities for students to excel through physical activities or to showcase their creative-arts talents. Our character education program lays the foundation for our students to develop strong social emotional skills as they learn how to become good citizens in our community.
Elma Primary has a strong Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) that provides wonderful activities and opportunities for our students. The PTO arranges for or supports school assemblies, reading initiatives, field trips, and holiday activities. If you have not already done so, please consider becoming a member of the PTO to support the students here at Elma Primary.
This summer, our custodial staff have cleaned and disinfected every room and hallway in our building. They have moved furniture to make room for our additional classroom. The floors look shiny and new and the classrooms are all set up and ready to go.
Finally, partnerships with parents make all of what we do possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached at 652-3000 ext. 2001 or feel free to stop by my office. Thank you.
Darcy Walker, Principal