Samuel Smith Elementary School
Alice K. Thompson, Principal
Samuel Smith Elementary School works to provide a safe, caring, and engaging learning environment for all students in grades PreK3 through Grade 2. Our staff of highly qualified teachers is committed to providing students with a developmentally appropriate program of instruction utilizing best practices in education. The Faculty and Staff recognize the individual differences among us and emphasize tolerance of those differences.
The elementary school curriculum is aligned to the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards (NJCCCS) and to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in order to provide greater opportunity for improved student achievement.
Our Language Arts program consists of 120 minutes of instruction focused on a balanced literacy approach to reading and writing. Students use the writing process to construct meaningful writings on topics that are real and relevant to the student. We also use the Zaner Bloser Writing program which challenges our students to become dynamic and creative writers. Special area teachers provide additional instruction in the areas of Technology, Library, Music, and Physical Education. These teachers make connections in their area of expertise to the core content areas where applicable. The core of the reading program is Storytown, supplemented with leveled books to challenge each student at an appropriate level. We have increased the use of informational text and non-fiction materials to better prepare the students. Additionally, beginning in the Fall of 2014, elementary students will receive thirty minutes of targeted instruction daily according to their Developmental Reading Assessment level.
All elementary students in Kindergarten through Grade 5 use enVision Mathematics. This series is based on critical foundational research and proven classroom results written specifically to address the Common Core State Standards. Students use a wide variety of assistive technology and tangible manipulatives to solve problems. We have increased the mathematics time to eighty minutes per day for students in Kindergarten through Grade 2. Students are expanding their approach to solving problems by using a consistent approach across grade levels and by writing about math. At Samuel Smith Elementary School, math is everywhere!
Elementary classrooms are equipped with Internet-accessible computers and SmartBoard technology which serves to further infuse technology into the learning. Teachers use the web-based program Odyssey to create targeted, skill-building assignments in reading and math. Additionally, the district has a subscription for Brain Pop and Brain Pop, Jr. which are online, animated film strip tutorials students can access from home as well as school. There are iPads available to further assist the students in acquiring 21st century technology skills and becoming PARCC ready.
The Early Childhood Program consists of thirteen preschool classrooms, twelve of which are housed at Samuel Smith Elementary and one at the Captain James Lawrence Elementary School. Our Early Childhood Program, under the guidance of Master Teacher Kristy Sugg, is one of the top-rated programs in the State. Beginning in the fall, we will be using the updated Success for All, Curiosity Corner Curriculum in our preschool. It contains a digital Homelink for parents and increased math, literacy, and technology opportunities for these young learners. Visit the Early Childhood link to learn more about this program.
Students have many avenues through which to become involved in the school community. There are regular Responsive Classroom Morning Meetings, Smith School Super Sharks, Second Grade Mentors, Chorus, the Smith School Garden Club, and the Old Glory Guards. Additionally, Burlington City High School students serve as mentors and role models through a variety of community service programs at Samuel Smith Elementary School including the members of Future Teachers of America and the Jr. ROTC.
An equilateral triangle is the strongest geometric shape. Similarly, Samuel Smith Elementary School can only be its strongest with an effective partnership between the school, the students, and the families. Working together, we will prepare our students not only for Wilbur Watts Intermediate School, but to be 21st century learners.
We welcome parents to our school and have many ways in which to become involved. We have a dedicated and hardworking PTA that sponsors family programs, assemblies, and book fairs for our students. Parents are welcome to volunteer in such activities as Raising Readers, Math Matters, Field Day, and in the Smith School Garden. We hold a spaghetti dinner and family game night as well as a celebration of Dr. Seuss. We honor our families through our Mother’s Day Tea and Pretzels with Pop events.
We have a most exciting fun-filled year of achievement planned for all of our Samuel Smith School Sharks! I look forward to meeting your family and to working with you.
Alice K. Thompson, M.Ed.
Principal/Director of Early Childhood
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