Dear Parents and Caregivers,
I would like to welcome all of our new families to Jefferson Elementary School. Our school community is a warm and nurturing environment. We strive to challenge our children to reach their full potential, academically and socially/emotionally. To meet the Common Core Standards, our teachers offer rigorous curricula while differentiating instruction to meet every child’s needs. With regard to literacy, we follow a balanced literacy/workshop model approach. Our primary literacy resource is Teachers College Units of Study in Reading and Writing. For math, we utilize a program called Investigations. Common Core Math has many parents questioning the standards and the new strategies of teaching math. Throughout the school year, we offer math workshops for parents and children to develop a clear understanding of the state’s expectations and how we are meeting them. Math is no longer about memorizing steps to solve problems. We want our students to have an understanding of numbers and their relationships. We are committed to teaching specific models that offer children cognitive and visual support. We emphasize and value the process a child utilizes to obtain the answers.
On a daily basis, all Jefferson students have one period that we call a CAMPEL. CAMPEL is an acronym for computers, art, music, physical education and library or language. At Jefferson, we follow a 6-day schedule. Every day of the week has a number. The number, 1-6, determines which CAMPEL your child’s class has that particular day. Your child’s teacher will send home a schedule. We post the number of each day on our website.
For students who are acquiring English or need additional support in reading, we provide services for students during our intervention/enrichment period. Since intervention/enrichment periods are part of our daily schedule, students do not miss core instruction. If you have concerns regarding your child’s academic skills, please speak to your child’s homeroom teacher. Your child’s teacher will work with specialists to determine appropriate interventions. Students who receive support are selected based upon a set of criteria.
For world languages, we offer three programs. Our dual language program is for children that are Spanish dominant (they have stronger Spanish speaking skills than English). This program begins in kindergarten. For children in grades 1-4, who are not in the dual language program, we offer a Spanish FLES program. Students have Spanish class two times in a 6-day cycle. Our last program is Italian. We offer a robust Italian program for children in grades 3-5. To participate in this program, students must be on grade level in literacy and math. Italian class takes place every day during our intervention/enrichment periods.
We have many community events supported and led by our PTA and our faculty. Please consider joining our PTA. Every year, the PTA raises funds to pay for buses for grade level trips to art museums. Throughout the school year, children have a variety of opportunities to dance, sing, perform and participate in positive, physical activities. One of our most popular programs is our early morning intramural sports program. In the fall and spring, we offer soccer. In the winter, we offer basketball.
We send a monthly note home to keep families abreast of school events and activities. In addition, school information is shared through automated calls and email blasts. It is important that we always have your most up to date contact information. Please inform the main office if your contact information changes. Our partnership is vital to your child’s achievement and the success of our school as a community. Reading to your child, reading with your child, and having your child read to you is one of the easiest ways to support your child’s growth. If you have additional questions, please feel free to call me at 914.576.4430.
I am looking forward to a great school year!