Dear Grove Street School Family:
Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year!
The learning environment at Grove Street Elementary School is peaceful, safe, supportive, technologically advanced, and intentionally designed to address the specific learning needs of individual scholars. We recognize the importance of meeting our scholars where they are and working attentively and harmoniously to maximize their individual potential. We are also cognizant of our responsibility to challenge our scholars academically and inspire them to higher learning, exemplary school citizenship, and a genuine acceptance of cultural differences and the diversity that is prevalent in our school and society.
No school can truly function well unless all participants are seen as respected, valued, and essential stakeholders in the teaching-learning process. Parents, staff, and members of the community believe that the quest for educational excellence is a shared responsibility that is based on establishing and sustaining meaningful partnerships. We work tirelessly to facilitate collaborative efforts between all stakeholders. Through cooperation and commitment, all members of the Grove Street School Community contribute to the development of an exciting learning environment where scholars pursue their interests and are focused on college and career readiness. 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. This encompasses learning objectives and activities which address all areas of growth in the preschool child. It is an inclusive educational program that builds on learning experiences which help to develop lifelong learners who work to analyze and solve problems. Learning is accelerated and builds on the strengths and interests of each scholar. It also involves them in all phases of the learning process and documents their progress through continuous and authentic assessment. Hands-on activities and projects encourage thorough understanding by connecting learning and the attainment of knowledge to memorable events. The Creative Curriculum preschool program reflects the developmental needs of young learners and simultaneously fosters their academic and social emotional development.
The instructional program at Grove Street School is aligned to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS), and affords opportunities for scholars to acquire a thorough and proficient knowledge in the core academic areas. Our main goal is to develop expertise in reading, writing, speaking, and listening to ensure that all scholars are college and career ready. Our English language arts curricula is overarched by the district’s implementation of Balanced Literacy and Put Reading First which focuses on Phonics, Phonemic Awareness, Comprehension, Vocabulary and Reading with Fluency. These are accompanied by the implementation of the Read 180 and System 44 Programs which are both contributory in improving the literacy skills of struggling scholars. Scholars in grades K-5 also utilize the Reading Wonders Series which is aligned with the NJSLS and focuses on informational text along with a focal point on the author’s purpose. The writing process is guided by Writing 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, and listeners who are able to appropriately analyze compare and interpret text, and develop an affinity for reading and writing.
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 thrive in the global society in which we live. The My Math Curriculum 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 NJSLS. The intended outcome also includes providing scholars with the skills necessary to communicate mathematically, problem solve, and use mathematics in authentic situations.
Health and physical education programs promote each scholar’s physical and social emotional development as well as an understanding of health problems and issues that may impact the quality of life. Our excellent physical education program also helps scholars develop best practices that will allow them to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, children who are exposed to different kinds of sports develop skills such as coordination, sportsmanship, and teamwork. Unique to this school is the Beginners for Bikers Program; bicycles were donated by the Food Bank and incorporated into the physical education curriculum.
The themes presented in Social Studies are diverse, relevant, and can be directly linked to other content area topics, which allow for cross-curricular integration.
Social studies provide scholars with the tools to understand and appreciate the values and principles of American democracy and culture along with a reverence and appreciation of other cultures. Its study allows scholars to understand the relationship between the present and the past. Additionally, the mistakes 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.
Science instruction is designed to foster the skills of observation, inquiry, analysis, and reflection. 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 principle that science is exciting, interesting, and inquiry based. Activities include utilizing technology to connect with first responders from different parts of the country. With the implementation of V-Labs, scholars are now able to work on projects, partake in a variety of interactive lessons, and participate in an investigative based curriculum while corresponding virtually with students in classrooms throughout the region.
Teachers and support staff utilize a variety of interactive lessons to facilitate the transfer of information and encourage hands-on student engagement. All classrooms are furnished with interactive media software, projection systems, smartboards, chrome books and computer centers. The school is also home to two well-equipped technology labs. Teachers provide multiple opportunities for scholars to master a variety of programs and software formats. These include the utilization of Measuring Up, Brain Pop, Razz-Kids, and a plethora of software which are used to infuse technology into instruction. During English language arts, science, and social studies classes, scholars utilize 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 superiority.
Student of the Month, Good Citizenship, Most Improved, Honor Roll, Perfect Attendance, Super Honor Roll, and Good Deed Award recognition programs are just a few of the honors available to scholars. Incorporating the Positive Behavior Support In School Program (PBSIS) along with the Grove Street School Code of Conduct have become essential components regarding the expected behavior of scholars. Behavior contracts based on the core values, provide a foundation in individual accountability and character. Grove Street School has also established a strong Anti-Bullying program. From pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, scholars are taught to demonstrate, consideration, patience, empathy, and respect for each other. Since scholars learn by example, the school administrator, staff, volunteers, and members of the community are responsible treating others with civility and respect, and unremittingly refusing to tolerate harassment, intimidation or bullying. The Irvington Public Schools’ Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying (HIB) Policy will continue to be steadfastly enforced. HIB information is located on the school’s website.
Cheerleading, Dance Club, Step Team, Music Club, Book Club and Basketball Teams, are a few examples of the extra-curricular activities offered at the school. Scholars in fourth and fifth grades 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.
Community Mobilization is an essential component in the daily functions of the Grove Street School Community. It allows stakeholders to solve problems through our own efforts which is fundamental to having sustained outcomes within our school community. Family and school are two important entities in children’s lives that play significant roles in their growth and development. Harmonious and effective collaboration between these two units can be most beneficial for all stakeholders involved; particularly our scholars. We are proud of the supportive Parent Teacher Association (PTA), at Grove Street School. It is responsible for the implementation of many events designed to enhance the social emotional and academic experiences of scholars. Each year, the organization collaborates 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, field day activities, school dances, and a number of activities.
On a daily basis I am surrounded by caring parents, community members, dedicated staff, and approximately 488 brilliant scholars who project incomparable levels of pride, enthusiasm, resilience, determination, and school spirit. The Grove School Community continues to be one that is enlightened and passionate where all decisions are made in the best interest of scholars.
In closing, I invite you to visit our fine institute of learning. Grove Street School is safe, welcoming, and exceptionally well maintained. Although the building is over 109 years old, we take pride in its preservation and upkeep. I am genuinely honored and privileged to continue to serve as the instructional leader of the Home of the True Champions For Children.
Let’s continue to combine our talents and resources to make this the best year ever!
Dr. Deniese Cooper