The Pownal Elementary School faculty, staff and administration are pleased to share the status and initiatives of Pownal Elementary School. Our students continue to be the center of all that we do so that we are developing the “Whole Child”. Our arts, music and physical education programs are very strong and has a commitment of integration of the arts within the school day for each child.
This year we are pleased to have Mrs. Dawn Campbell as part of our Special Education Department and Mrs. Kaitlyn Hunt was assigned as a fifth grade teacher. These new staff members have made a great impact on our Pownal school community.
As you know the State of VT has implemented the Common Core Standards as has more than 40 states. With these standards, public school students are learning the same skills in the same grade levels no matter where they live. The Common Core guidelines are more rigorous than we have had in the past. The new standards expect more from our students but about fewer topics. This will give students a chance to better understand what is being taught. Students are taught important critical thinking skills and problem solving skills in earlier grades. The standards affect how children will learn math, reading, writing, listening and speaking. These standards are also incorporated into other subject areas such as science and social studies. More lessons and assignments are about how these skills are used in the real world. Our goal is to help students reach these standards but more importantly we look at the progress of each individual student.
With new standards come new tests. Our new SBAC test is based on the common core standards while the NECAPS were based on Grade Level Expectations. While the NECAPS prepared for next grade level learning the SBAC is on track to be career and/or college readiness. The SBAC will be taken by students in grades 3-6 on computers in the spring. We hope our students will do well, but we recognize that one assessment does not predict the future success of an individual nor does it paint a whole picture of what a student knows or unique talents they may possess.
Pownal School is proud to stay current with best practices in the area of technology. In addition to a Technology Lab, our building houses individual student net books for our second and third grade students. This year we purchased new chrome books for our fourth grade students. Thanks to the support of our school board and community, we now have Smart Boards and document cameras in each of our grade level classrooms and in some of our specialists' classrooms.
We have continued our Positive Behavior Intervention Supports. Pownal School is a Safe, Respectful, and Responsible Community. PBIS or Positive Behavior Intervention Supports is our tiered intervention program that supports student behavior and learning. Our PBIS team has developed models of positive interventions for all students and has continued the second tier of PBIS called “Check-in Check out” (CICO). This program has shown that more time in class for students will show an overall increase in student performance of state and local assessments. We were recently recognized by the Vermont PBIS Team as a “School of Merit.”
I would like to thank the School Board for their dedication and commitment to students, staff and taxpayers. We also appreciate the efforts of our Superintendent, James Culkeen, Central Office Administrators, Coaches and Support Staff, who continuously guide us in our efforts to provide the best education possible for our students.
I would be remiss not to mention all of the volunteers and programs who support Pownal Elementary School in their efforts to provide our students with the best possible educational opportunities: PTG, Spirit of Sharing, Ski Club, Odyssey of the Mind, Drama Club, Four Winds Program, After School and Summer Program, and the Farm to School Program.
As Principal of Pownal Elementary School, I am very excited to be a part of the Pownal Elementary family and to closely work with everyone to make our school a great place for our students to learn and grow.