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Whitsons Welcome Back to School Parent Newsletter 2019-2020

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

Mount Vernon Avenue Elementary School, Where Scholars Learn to SOAR! The Mount Vernon Avenue Learning Community is invested in providing learning experiences to ensure that all scholars from Kindergarten to grade five, have opportunities for Success, will take Ownership for their learning and actions, will maintain a positive mindset and Attitude in all academic and social interactions and will demonstrate Respect for each other as well as the learning process.

Our mission is to provide a superior academic education in a caring environment in which every child is respected, given the opportunity to develop character, attitudes, and values, preparing them for a globally competitive workforce.

Our K – 5 curriculums are aligned to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards and evidenced in inclusive classroom environments where we employ current and research-based pedagogy. Our literacy program follows a balanced literacy framework infusing key literacy components such as phonological awareness, fluency, rich vocabulary instruction, speaking and listening, comprehension and writing, while scholarly inquiry and the challenge that comes with thinking critically and creatively to solve problems. For the 2019-2020 school year, we will introduce i-Ready Reading to our literacy program. i-Ready Reading is an intervention-based adaptive learning program using an online platform. i-Ready Reading serves to address each promoting a love for reading, student’s unique learning needs.

During the 2018-2019 school year, Mt. Vernon successfully implemented enVisionMath. Through job-embedded professional development and the support of our content supervisors, our students met our annual learning target as measured by September 2018 baseline data. While we celebrate our success, we recognize that there is much more work to be done. We are resolved in providing instruction that seeks to help students develop an understanding of math concepts through problem-based instruction, small-group interaction, and visual learning with a focus on reasoning and modeling.

Mount Vernon is dedicated to producing STEM proficient scholars who can answer complex questions, investigate global issues and develop solutions for challenges and real-world problems while applying the rigor of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics content. Students participate in an integrated science program aligned to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science, based on the Next Generation Science Standards, exposing them to topics within the physical sciences, life sciences, and earth and space sciences each year. The science program is focused on moving students toward a deeper and richer understanding of scientific concepts and their application by engaging students in authentic, relevant learning experiences. Scholars participate in Virtual Learning Labs where they conduct experiments and engage in learning opportunities with a scientist.

The Social Studies curriculum is organized thematically around the central concepts of civics, geography, and economics for kindergarten through third grade. In the fourth and fifth grades, the historical understanding of the United States and New Jersey are studied. Interwoven throughout each grade level are learning objectives that involve social scientific problem solving, decision making, social political participation skills, critical thinking, cooperative skills, and personal skills. Through these learning experiences our scholars will develop the ability and inclination to employ critical thinking and decision-making strategies and an understanding of the uniqueness and interdependence of regions and nations in a global age.

Fine arts and physical education are an integral part of a comprehensive curriculum and are essential for 21st century learning. All scholars engage in Visual Arts, Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, and Physical Education. Our arts education program enables students to develop an appreciation of the arts, broaden their perspectives and understand their world and the diverse cultural influences that surround them and sharpen their critical and creative thinking skills. Our physical education program provides a motivating and enriching curriculum that meets the physical, mental, emotional, and social needs of our scholars. The curriculum takes on an interdisciplinary approach addressing the core subjects in various forms. The overall goal of our physical education program is to provide scholars with the necessary skills to improve and maintain their health and wellness for a lifetime. 

Technology literacy is an integral component of a balanced educational experience. As such, technology is infused in all aspects of our curriculum. Our scholars interact with Smart Boards, Google Chromebooks, and instructional software present in our core curricular programs. Lesson components include student and teacher use of technology employing interactive SMART Exchange lessons to increase engagement and promote collaboration. 

Mount Vernon celebrates and recognizes the diversity that exists in our learning community. As such we are intentional in our practices in ensuring our curriculum and school climate is culturally responsive allowing opportunities for each student to succeed. To this end, our teachers teach transferable life skills and provide instruction that is differentiated, fosters high student engagement, communicates high expectations, connects students’ prior learning experiences and involves parents in the school community, all which promote a sense of belonging while preparing them to be problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and confident learners. 

The Irvington Public Schools is an inclusive school district. Our Special Education program is designed to meet the specific needs of scholars with disabilities in the least restrictive setting. The school-based Intervention & Referral Services (I&RS) Team provides support and services to general education scholars suspected of having academic, social or behavior difficulties. For the 2019-2020 school year, we will introduce Restorative Practice as a part of our PBSIS initiative, further supporting students social and emotional learning. 

Mt. Vernon Avenue Elementary School addresses the whole child and offers scholars a unique opportunity to play a larger role in the school community, forming stronger relationships with teachers, and their peers. Research has shown that structured extracurricular activities support academic achievement, high attendance rates, positive behavior, and identity development. Scholars can participate in the National Elementary Honor Society, Student Council, Newsletter Club, Digital Learning Club, School Safety Patrol, Chess Club, Cheer Team, Literacy Academy and/or Eagles Academy. Additionally, our scholars are also able to attend several exciting field trips aimed at enriching their curricular experience. Scholars have ventured to the Liberty Science Center, Turtle Back Zoo, The Bronx Zoo, NJPAC, SOPAC, Medieval Times, Jenkinson’s Aquarium, along with visiting the beach. 

Only by working together, will we ensure the success of our children. Our parents and community partners are active participants in the education of our scholars. They coordinate with the school on various events in collaboration with the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), Parent Coordinator workshops, and volunteer and fundraising events and programs. With community partnership playing a vital role in what we do, Mount Vernon has afforded the community a myriad of after school events to increase parent and community presence within the school. A few of our events include, Family Movie Nights, a Multicultural Dinner, Scholar vs. Teacher Basketball Games, a Family Dinner Dance, Game Nights, Skating and Bowling outings culminating in our annual Field Day with the inclusion of parent volunteers. These events aid in a comprehensive collaborative atmosphere between staff and the community at large. 

Mount Vernon’s dedicated staff work to build a strong school culture and climate that plays a role in improving student performance by maintaining a safe and positive learning environment, that expects staff and scholars to perform at high levels, celebrates accomplishments and believes in a shared system of accountability. Students reflect daily on our school mantra, Where Scholars Learn to SOAR and, recite the Eagle’s Oath. They are rewarded for modeling outstanding behavior through our Student of the Month award, daily raffles, Class Dojopoints, and Eagle Bucks. We adhere to a school wide behavior program following the principles of Positive Behavior Supports in School (PBSIS). 

Student success is the goal of every staff member at Mount Vernon Avenue Elementary School. We are devoted to utilizing research-based best practices to guide every student, every day, to reach their full potential. Through intentional and reflective practices, we will continue to be a learning community that values collaboration, lifelong learning, and collective responsibility, evidenced by increased student achievement. 

Nicole Gilmore
Principal

Where Scholars Learn to SOAR! Success, Ownership, Attitude, Respect

2019-09-02T22:02:57-04:00Categories: School MTV, School MTV Blog Posts|
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