Whitsons Welcome Back to School Parent Newsletter 2019-2020

New! – Principal’s Welcome Message – GSS 2019-2020

Greetings Stakeholders,

A warm welcome from the Home of the Champions for Children where we are teaching and working as if our own children attend this school!

Our Mission at Grove Street School is to provide rigorous, enjoyable, and meaningful learning experiences to all students. As we embark upon the 2019-2020 school-year, it is our genuine determination to positively influence the academic performance as well as the social emotional development of each student. We recognize our students as phenomenal scholars with a wide variety of talents, interests, and an extraordinary sense of pride and fortitude. We are also cognizant that the teaching-learning process progresses uniquely for each individual.

When children are placed in a well structured, secure, and nurturing environment, surrounded by responsible and enthusiastic adults, they are able to thrive and exceed all expectations. The team at Grove Street School is dedicated to providing a safe and encouraging atmosphere where all students receive authentic experiences. The level of competence and enthusiasm of the staff are evident as we work diligently to engage, motivate, and educate all students. Instruction is delivered with patience and confidence by highly qualified teachers who possess additional expertise in best practices and strategies that will augment the teaching-learning process.  Through persistence and the indisputable commitment of the entire team, students understand that they are valued and essential members of the school community. We are also proud of our supportive Parent Teacher Association, which is responsible for implementing many activities designed to enhance the social and academic lives of students.

In mathematics, we have begun to promote conceptual mathematical understanding, which has provided students with a theoretical prospective.  We have successfully implemented the Eight Mathematical Practices and have begun to witness a paradigm shift whereby students are now able to solve problems using at least two different methods, while displaying the ability to articulate their rationale. Our students are beginning to develop a mathematical mindset and observe math in the world around them. We are creating scholars who believe that with perseverance and effort, they are capable of making sense of problems and have the ability to solve them while reasoning abstractly and quantitatively.

In science, our students are now able to work on projects, participate in a variety of interactive lessons, engage in hands on activities, and partake in an inquiry based curriculum while corresponding virtually with students in classrooms throughout the district. We understand that effective education for science literacy requires that students are frequently and actively involved in exploring nature in ways that resemble how scientists conduct their research. They are provided with the time and opportunity for investigating, conducting observations, testing ideas, repeating processes, and discovering.  Coherent instruction revolves around the logic that science is exciting and inquiry based.

Our primary goal is to ensure that students develop proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and comprehension. The English language arts curricula is overarched by the district’s adoption of Balanced Literacy which encompasses Phonics, Phonemic Awareness, Comprehension, Vocabulary, and students’ ability to read with fluency. It is aligned with the New Jersey Student Learning Assessment Standards and focuses on informational text along with a concentration on the author’s purpose. As students are exposed to an assortment of selections, they learn appropriate strategies to improve their comprehension of what is being read while simultaneously enhancing their level of fluency.

Many of our students continue to emerge as winners of district and county sponsored essay writing and poetry contests. We also participate in “Law Day” whereby students partake in a Mock Trial as the NJ Bar Association simulates a trial before students using a specific fact pattern. It also allows us to assign students to serve as attorneys, defendants, bailiffs, prosecutors, witnesses, and members of the jury. The Social Studies Curriculum provides students with the tools to understand and appreciate the values and principles of American democracy and traditions in addition to a reverence for different cultures. Its study also facilitates an understanding of the present and the past. Additionally, the blunders and triumphs that this world has made throughout time serve as catalysts for future behavior. It is through social studies that students can learn to appreciate different values, beliefs, and environments. Such knowledge and exposure fosters respect for differences and an improved understanding of current events and environmental issues.

Educational trips include visits to the Jenkinson Broadwalk & Aquarium, American Museum of Natural History, Bayshore Learning Center, Turtle Back Zoo, Land of Make Believe, Liberty Science Center, The Bronx Zoo and a variety of interesting places.  Each year, efficient budgeting and vigilant planning result in our students being entertained via a number of assemblies. These include Chinese Acrobats, Rainforest Animals, Omega Man Anti Bullying Workshop, African Folk Dancers, Pitter Patter Feet, and The Brain Show, to name a few.

Grove Street School continues to be one that promotes healthy eating habits and is the recipient of a Fruit and Vegetable Grant making it possible for students to receive servings of  fresh fruits and vegetables on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for an afternoon snack. Our students are cognizant of the importance of good nutrition and view healthy eating as a lifestyle. During physical education we continue to maintain the Beginners Bike Program where students are taught how to ride a bicycle.

The school is home to two fully equipped Technology Centers. Students utilize desk tops, and chrome books during weekly visits to the centers. Teachers provide multiple opportunities for students to master a variety of software programs. These include the utilization of iReady for Math as well as Literacy, Moby Max, Learning A-Z, Measuring Up, Brain Pop, Raz-Kids, and a plethora of tools and software, which are used to enhance and supplement instruction.  Additionally, each classroom is equipped with computers, chrome books and a smart board. As the world is rapidly moving forward and international communication has taken a new course therefore it is essential that students are prepared with the skills necessary to embrace 21st Century philosophy and technological superiority.

Students are honored for both academic success and commendable behavior by acknowledgments such as Student of the Month, Good Citizenship, Most Improved, Honor Roll, Perfect Attendance, Super Honor Roll, and Good Deed Award recognition programs.  The Positive Behavior Support In School Program (PBSIS) along with the Student Code of Conduct have become necessary components regarding the anticipated conduct of students. Performance agreements based on the core values also provide the basis for individual accountability and comportment.

The Irvington Public Schools’ Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying (HIB) Policy will continue to be rigorously implemented.  All students are encouraged to demonstrate compassion, tolerance, understanding, and respect for each other. Since children learn by example, the school administrator, staff, volunteers, members of the community and all adults are responsible for demonstrating courteous behavior at all times. At Grove Street School we emphatically refuse to tolerate harassment, intimidation, or bullying on any level. In addition to the implementation of Restorative Practices, we are bound by Monthly Relationship Themes that are put into practice on a daily basis.

On a daily basis I am surrounded by caring parents, involved members of the community, dedicated staff, and approximately 475 remarkable scholars who exude levels of resilience, pride, fortitude and passion that are unparalleled to any. The Grove School Community continues to be one that is progressive and nurturing where all decisions are made in the best interest of students. It is a privilege and an honor to continue to serve as the instructional leader of this amazing school community.

Dr. Deniese Cooper,
Principal
(973) 399-6867
dcooper@irvington.k12.nj.us

2019-08-25T12:58:56-04:00Categories: School GSS, School GSS Blog Post|

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