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In every classroom at Blue Ridge Elementary School, you can find students working in groups specifically designed to meet each child’s needs. Elementary principal, Mr. Matthew Button, revisited the elementary school’s daily schedule and added a thirty minute Intervention/Enrichment period for reading to every grade (K-5) and a thirty minute Intervention/Enrichment period for math in grades 1-5.
Research shows that the key factor to increased learning is more time spent teaching necessary skills. During this new I/E period, all students are taught skills at their instructional level, whether that be remediation, enrichment, or review. This change involves all teachers in the elementary school. Classroom teachers and intervention teachers work with a small group of children who are practicing the same skill during these I/E periods. This allows all students to get extra attention, whether they are struggling or excelling. “RtI has been a nice opportunity for us to work with a small group of students on the specific skills they are ready to learn,” says first grade teacher Krista Bowman. Students still receive core instruction in Reading, Math, Science, Social Studies and Language Arts every day, but this extra time spent on skills gives the students at Blue Ridge the opportunity to catch up or rise up.
This initiative at Blue Ridge is the first step in the move toward a Response to Intervention (RtI) model of helping students to be successful learners. Pennsylvania Department of Education says we must move toward a data driven approach to identify students with disabilities. RtI uses data to identify each child’s strengths and weaknesses prior to academic failure. The teachers use that data to determine how to best help each child in their classroom. Third grade teacher Sharon Watkins states, “RtI time gives me a designated time to differentiate instruction in Reading and Mathematics. It allows me to meet students’ specific needs.” Students seem to enjoy the small group attention as well. Third grader Summer Anderson comments, “I like it because I get to work with other people and I learn.” Danielle Goff, another third grade student in Mrs. Watkins’ RtI group says, “I like RtI because now I am better at counting money, and I will improve my report card.” Children’s progress is monitored frequently to decide if the intervention is helping or if more intense intervention is needed. This model makes it difficult for children to fall through the cracks of education. Through RtI, Blue Ridge teachers are assuring high levels of achievement for all students.
Elk Lake Junior High School Principal Brain Mallery has announced the September 2009 Students of the Month for grades seven through nine. Pictured (l-r) above: front - Austin Cohen, Kirsten Hollister, Sarah Shuren, Zachary Shafer, James Burnside, Allyssa Hewitt; middle - Kayla Wood, Mason Maye, Celia DeWitt, Olivia Vosburg, Haley Skinner, Megyn Stevens, Kyleen Pisaneschi; back - Colt Hardic, Brandon Bonavita, Dan Mills, Olivia Smurkowski, Junior High Principal Brian Mallery, Elizabeth Benscoter, Meagan Bush, Travis Tiger.
Blue Ridge has joined the WeatherBug Schools Program. The school has installed a new WeatherBug tracking station and will be able to provide weather data for the meteorological team at WBRE to broadcast online and on the air. The tracking station will also be used to enhance the school’s curriculum using the WeatherBug Achieve program as well as the live data received from the weather station.
The tracking station and accompanying WeatherBug Achieve software suite were funded by Rob Robinson of Rob’s Market in Hallstead, PA, and the Pioneer Grant, secured by Stacy Wolfe, fifth grade teacher. This program will allow Blue Ridge and the surrounding community to more effectively understand the science of meteorology.
LOCK HAVEN, PA - Local students participated in Lock Haven University's 3rd Annual Assistive Technologies Fair on October 23.
LHU students demonstrated devices ranging from low tech to high tech, which can be used to improve the quality of life of individuals with and without disabilities in both academic and non academic environments. LHU students also prepared informative posters and were on hand to answer questions and give information.
The following local students participated in the Assistive Technologies Fair: Ashley Griffis, a Senior from Montrose, PA who is majoring in Elementary Education; Nathan Pease, a Senior from New Milford, PA who is majoring in Elementary Education.
At Blue Ridge Elementary School in September, Krista Bowman's first grade class did a social studies miniunit about America. The students enjoyed learning about American Symbols such as our flag, the bald eagle, and the Statue of Liberty. They learned a lot about patriotism and the country where they live. To culminate the unit, the students made two American Flags. On the flags, some students wrote something they learned about America during the miniunit while other students wrote notes to thank a serviceman or veterans.
On Thursday, October 8, Blue Ridge Kindergarten students took part in “Read for the Record,” jointly sponsored by Penguin Publishing and Binghamton University. The children participated in a dramatic reading of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” crafts revolving around the story and a nature walk through Binghamton University’s nature trail. Each child received a copy of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” donated by Penguin Publishing. One Blue Ridge student also won a large basket full of books and other activities surrounding insects. The students, accompanied by parents and teachers had a terrific and educational day. Pictured (l-r) above are students from Blue Ridge with their books: standing - Gary Gorton, Logan Mann, Benjamin Marble, Noah Benedict and James Bowen; sitting - Ashley Tomassacci, Rayne Glover, Elizabeth Smith, Breanna Derrick and Robert Lindquist.
On Wednesday, October 28, The Nutrition Group along with Mountain View School District celebrated one of nature's fast foods - apples - by observing Apple Crunch week with students.
Celebrated annually during National Apple Month, Apple Crunch teaches youth important facts about healthy snacking and getting five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
In celebration of Apple Crunch 2009, The Nutrition Group, Mountain View's Food Service Management Company, had a variety of apples for the students to choose with their breakfast and lunch throughout the week. Wellness tips were distributed to students and parents, encouraging healthy lifestyles for students and their families. Granny Smith, Golden Delicious and Washington Red apples were available as well as warm cinnamon apple slices, fruity flavored applesauce and apple stuffed French toast for breakfast.
"Schools have a first hand opportunity to impact a child's idea of good health," explained Heather Kovaleski, Registered Dietitian and Food Service Director. "By allowing the students to choose from a fun variety of fruits and vegetables, we can help increase the amount of healthy food choices they make, in school and at home."
Apple Crunch is a program of the Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion at Penn Sate Hershey Children's Hospital. In 2008, more than 960 schools and 285,000 youth across Pennsylvania celebrated Apple Crunch. For more information about this and other school wellness-related programs and events, visit www.nrgbalance.org.
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