Dear Grove Street School Community:
Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year!
The Grove Street staff is committed to providing each scholar with the skills and knowledge necessary to attain academic success and personal development. The school’s mission supports the evolution of all scholars as perpetual learners who work diligently toward the acquisition of academic excellence and distinction. We recognize our scholars as exceptional individuals with an extensive range of talents, abilities, interests, and challenges. We are also aware of the fact that the teaching-learning process progresses uniquely for each scholar. We are prepared to meet our scholars where they are and work purposefully to maximize their individual potential. Our scholars are prepared to become critical thinkers, problem solvers, and empathetic humanitarians possessing extraordinary levels of self-efficacy. Grove Street School is a community of motivated learners and it is an exciting place to be!
No school can truly function well unless all participants are perceived as respected, valued, and essential stakeholders. Parents, staff, scholars, and members of the school community believe that the quest for educational excellence is a shared responsibility that is based on establishing and sustaining meaningful partnerships. We work assiduously to facilitate collaborative efforts and encourage continuous and meaningful communication among all stakeholders. Through cooperation and commitment, all members of the Grove Street School Community contribute to the fostering of a positive learning environment where scholars pursue their interests. It is our belief that, when children are a part of a well structured, safe, and nurturing environment, surrounded by responsible and enthusiastic adults, they are able to thrive and surpass all expectations.
The Pre-school scholars are guided by the Creative Curriculum which reflects upon the developmental needs of young learners. It incorporates learning objectives and activities which address all areas of growth in the preschool child. It is an inclusive educational program that builds upon learning experiences which serve to establish a strong foundation. Learning is accelerated and builds on the strengths and interests of each young scholar. Scholars are also involved in all phases of the learning process. Their individual performance is documented through continuous and authentic assessment. Hands-on activities and projects encourage thorough understanding by connecting learning and the acquisition of knowledge to memorable events and experiences.
The instructional program at Grove Street School is aligned to the Common Core State Standards and affords opportunities for scholars to acquire a thorough and efficient knowledge in the core academic areas. Our primary goal is for our scholars to develop expertise in reading, writing, speaking, and listening, in order to ensure that they are college and career ready. Our English language arts curriculum is overarched by the district’s adoption of Balanced Literacy which focuses on phonics, word identification, word analysis, vocabulary development, phonemic awareness, comprehension, and the ability of our scholars to read with fluency. These are accompanied by the implementation of the Read 180 and System 44 Programs which are both instrumental in improving the literacy skills of struggling scholars. Scholars in grades K-5 also utilize the Reading Wonders Series which is aligned to the Common Core State Standards and focuses on informational text along with a focal point on the author’s purpose. The writing process is guided by Writers Workshop which is a research based program whereby scholars participate in organized and meaningful progressive writing activities. In conclusion, English language arts instruction is based on the principle that prepares scholars to become fluent readers, writers, speakers, thinkers, and listeners, who are able to appropriately analyze, compare and interpret text, and simultaneously develop a fondness and appreciation for reading and writing.
The My Math Program is designed to actively involve scholars in learning mathematics, developing skills for life-long critical thinking, and integrating technology into the mathematics discovery process. This program meets and exceeds the requirements of the Common Core State Standards. The intended outcome also includes providing scholars with the skills necessary to communicate mathematically, problem solve, and use mathematics in authentic situations. Mathematical principles and concepts have become a part of almost every facet of life. Being knowledgeable of mathematical doctrine will effectively prepare scholars to become 21st century learners who are ultimately able to flourish in the global society in which we live. Instruction and activities target mastery of procedural skills and fluency that are essential for demonstrating conceptual understanding, and applying those concepts to life experiences.
Health and physical education programs promote each scholar’s physical, mental, and social emotional development, as well as an understanding of health complications and issues that may impact the quality of life. Our excellent physical education program also helps scholars to develop best practices that will allow them to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, children who are exposed to different kinds of sports develop social skills such as sportsmanship and teamwork. Unique to this school is the Beginners Bikers Program. Bicycles were donated by the Food Bank and incorporated into the physical education program whereby scholars are taught how to ride bicycles.
To ensure that scholars acquire scientific knowledge and literacy, the science curriculum covers significant topics and themes. Effective education for science literacy requires that scholars are frequently and actively involved in exploring nature in ways that resemble how scientists conduct their research. Scholars are provided with time for investigating, making observations, testing ideas, repeating processes, and discovering. Instruction is designed around the premise that science is exciting, interesting, and inquiry based. Activities include utilizing technology to communicate with first responders from different parts of the nation. With the adoption of V-Labs, our scholars are now able to work on projects, participate in a variety of interactive lessons, and partake in an inquiry based curriculum while corresponding virtually with students in classrooms throughout the district.
During social studies, scholars are provided with the tools to understand and appreciate the values and principles of American democracy and culture. Its study enables scholars to understand the relationship between the present and the past. Additionally, the blunders and achievements that this world has made throughout time serve as a precedent for future behavior. Geography is another crucial area of social studies that enables scholars to gain knowledge about the world in general. It is through social studies that scholars can learn to appreciate different values, beliefs, and environments. Such knowledge and exposure foster respect for differences and an improved understanding of current events and environmental issues the world over.
At Grove Street School, teachers utilize a variety of interactive lessons to enhance the delivery of instruction and promote hands-on student engagement. Many of the classrooms are equipped with interactive media software, projection systems, smartboards, chrome books and computer centers. The school is also home to two well equipped technology labs. Scholars also utilize iPads during weekly visits to the Media Center. Teachers provide multiple opportunities for them to master a variety of programs and software formats. These include the utilization of Measuring Up, Brain Pop, Raz-Kids, and a plethora of software which are used to infuse technology into instruction. During English language arts, science, and social studies classes, scholars use the internet to conduct research and create power point presentations. As the world is rapidly advancing, and global communication is taking a new dimension, it is imperative that scholars are equipped with the skills necessary to embrace 21st Century philosophy and technological sophistication.
Scholars are recognized for both academic success and admirable behavior via honors such as Scholar of the Month, Good Citizenship, Most Improved, Honor Roll, Perfect Attendance, Super Honor Roll, and Good Deed Award recognition programs. Incorporating the Positive Behavior Support In School Program (PBSIS) along with the Grove Street School Code of Conduct have become fundamental components regarding the comportment of scholars. Behavior agreements based on the core values provide a foundation in individual responsibility and character. Grove Street School has also established a strong Anti-Bullying program. From pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, scholars are taught to demonstrate accountability, compassion, tolerance, understanding, and respect for each other. Since scholars learn by example, the school administrator, staff, volunteers, and members of the community are responsible for demonstrating appropriate behavior, treating others with courtesy and respect, and rigorously refusing to tolerate harassment, intimidation or bullying. The Irvington Public Schools’ Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying (HIB) Policy will continue to be sternly enforced. HIB information is located on the school’s website.
Extra curricular activities include Cheerleading, Dance Club, Step Team, Music Club, Book Club and Basketball Teams, to name a few. Scholars in fourth and fifth grades will receive Spanish instruction from a highly qualified teacher. Additionally, a National Elementary Honor Society as well as a Student Council have been implemented. In addition to allowing the school to bestow honor and recognition to outstanding scholars on a national level through the local chapter inductions and activities; this affiliation provides the school with a means to promote intellect, culture, citizenship, and service, as well as character and leadership within the school and the community.
Family and school are two important institutions in children’s lives that play key roles in their overall development. Effective integration of these two institutions can benefit not only scholars and the school, but the community in general. We are proud of our supportive Parent Teacher Association at Grove Street School. It is responsible for the implementation of many activities designed to enhance the social emotional and academic experiences of our scholars. Each year they collaborate with the physical education teacher to organize basketball games between scholars at Grove Street School and those from neighboring schools. They are also the sponsors of numerous fundraisers, trips, and a plethora of activities.
In closing, I invite you to visit our fine institute of learning. Grove Street School is safe, clean, welcoming, and exceptionally well maintained. Although the building is over 108 years old, we take pride in its upkeep and preservation. The Grove School Community is one that is proud and caring where all decisions are made in the best interest of our scholars.
I am genuinely honored and extremely fortunate to continue to serve as the instructional leader of this amazing group of stakeholders.
Let us make this the best year!
Dr. Deniese Cooper