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Articles from May 2019

Building Placement for 2019-2020 School Year

Building Placements

As we prepare for the 2019-2020 school year, we want to outline the building placement process for our new students. The District Office determines building placements for each of our five excellent elementary schools with the goal of respecting the boundaries of each building.

Due to growing enrollment and building capacity, some of our elementary schools are becoming full. This is particularly the case for two of our elementary schools (Fellows and Meeker), as well as some grades at the other elementary schools. If a grade is full, your student will attend Sawyer Elementary and transportation will be provided for in-district students.

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Sensory Path at Mitchell Elementary

Sensory Path

Elementary students are full of energy and it is important for them to have an outlet for that energy throughout the day. For many students, recess and physical education classes serve this need, but there are times when additional breaks are needed. Teachers at Mitchell Elementary recently installed a sensory path down one of their main hallways, which is in many ways an indoor “obstacle course.”

“The initiative started around conversations with staff about alternative ways to provide “brain breaks” to reduce our building-wide behavior referrals,” said special education teacher Angela Pardun. “During these conversations, we discussed multiple options including a puzzle break table, the sensory path, the addition of a trampoline, and others.”

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Safety Patrol at Edwards Elementary

Safety Patrol at Edwards

If you visited Edwards Elementary School this year in the morning during student drop off time, you were likely greeted with a friendly smile and saw students high-fiving each other. This is the work of Safety Patrol, a rotating team of nearly 30 fifth graders who are taking the lead on establishing a positive environment in their building by greeting students at the front door and at designated points throughout the school.

Principal Kristi Mixdorf saw this concept modeled at another school and approached fifth-grade teacher Chris Douglas about implementing it at Edwards. Douglas said, “I told her I wanted to continue looking for leadership opportunities for our 5th graders so I decided to take the lead on this and told the kids and parents what we envisioned this looking like.”

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Creating an Art Studio at Meeker Elementary w/ Michelle Mathias

Art Studio with Michelle Mathias

Michelle Mathias runs her art classroom at Meeker Elementary like an art studio; full of student-choice with the ability to simply create. This means that students come to art class and get to make and create whatever they envision and desire from a number of centers, called “studios,” that are open that day.

To begin the year, studios are rolled out individually starting with drawing. Each studio sets high expectations for cleanliness and safe use of tools, and provides best practice techniques and ideas. More studios are opened following the same pattern as the first and eventually students have an opportunity to work in painting, collage, paper sculpture, modeling clay, printmaking, and sewing and weaving studios, among others. “With the opportunity to use and choose from so many of the studios, students are given the choice to create almost anything. With this freedom of choice comes great responsibility and freedom,” said Mathias.

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