North Springs Elementary School (NSE) is a South Carolina (SC) public school serving students in grades kindergarten through fifth grades. We also house one child development classroom for four year olds. We serve students who qualify for the gifted and talented (G.T.) program under the state G.T. guidelines through the district's ALERT program (2nd and 3rd grades) or our school QuEST program (4th and 5th grades). We also serve students who require individual education plans (IEP), or 504 plans. We house three district special education programs at our school. Students at North Springs participate in music, PE, and art as required by the SC department of education on a six day rotation. Students are also engaged in media classes, computer classes, and design classes as part of the rotation.
North Springs has a school within a school magnet program called the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math School (STEMS). There are two STEMS classes in grades kindergarten through fifth grade. Students in our STEMS classes focus on engineering concepts within their general curriculum, field studies, etc...
Within the general education classroom, teachers use state adopted materials in reading (Treasures), math (Envisions), science (Scott Foresman), and social studies (Scott Foresman). Our STEMS classes use Engineering is Elementary for a reading curriculum and Investigations for their general math curriculum. All of our teachers are encouraged to utilize other resources either purchased by the school or district, online materials, field studies, and guest speakers to enhance thier units of study and ways to expose students to content.
All of our teachers CD - 5th grade, use the state adopted standards to design their units of study and lessons. Teachers in Richland Two are provided a wide variety of professional development opportunities to make the SC standards and best practices routine use in their classrooms.
North Springs' teachers implement the response to intervention (RTI) model when it comes to identifying students who may be struggling with certain concepts within the classroom. Teachers identify students who may be struggling through general classroom assessments, the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) assessement in both reading and math, DIBELS, DRA, STAR reading assessment for Accelerated Reader, and the Reading A-Z assessment. Teachers also progress monitor students at least once per month and as frequently as once per week to determine student growth.
Teachers at NSE receive professional development training in the areas of project base learning and service learning. Research shows that the more emotionally engaged a learner is in the learning process the more they retain and can use in a variety of settings. As a result, our teachers are encouraged to sponsor school clubs that allow students to participate in activities that they are passionate about. Teachers are encouraged to allow students to work on club activities in the classroom as part of their classroom projects.
NSE will be part of the second cohort focusing on project based learning throught the Buck Institute of Education starting the 2015-2016 school year. We are looking forward to a framework that will guide us as we design projects that will give our students authentic and meaningful ways to apply the SC standards.