Setting and Context

Climate and Community Culture

Carrie Martin Elementary School is a neighborhood school located in Loveland, CO as a part Carrie-Martin_455x270of the Thompson School District. It is located in south Loveland headed towards Berthoud. Loveland is a very tied with the arts and it is reflected in the schools’ participation in art events such as an annual sculpture show and district art shows at the local museum. According to the Carrie Martin website their mission is “Learn, Lead, Leave a Legacy”. Carrie Martin is a LeaderinMe school so the 7 habits of a highly effective leader play a significant part of their school environment. For positive behavior students are given a caught leading, students lead announcements, and the 7 habits tree is posted in every classroom. Their PBiS Slogan is ROARS (Respect others, Offer encouragement, Awesome activities, Reading, Safe school). Additional information on this school is as follows:

  •  Vision: Carrie Martin Elementary values each member of our community for their unique gifts and talents. Through positive relationships and a commitment to integrity and academic excellence, we can empower one another to contribute to the community as lifelong learners and leaders.
  • Motto: We believe that by working together, we achieve great things for all of our students.
  • Colors: Blue and white
  • Mascot: Tiger
  • Describe: Positive, caring, small school community, very friendly, low staff turnover, highly qualified veteran teachers
  • Stellar Points: Climate of acceptance; very academically diverse population with Intensive Learning Center; kids take care of students as they move to middle school; handicapped accessible playground; high academic achievement
  • Special Programs: Intensive Learning Center, math intervention, accelerated reading, reading recovery, etiquette lunch, morning motion – playground activity before school (TVHS students help), Colorado Character Education, giving tree food drive; Donuts for Dads, Muffins for Moms, and Goodies for Grandparents once a year
  • Extracurricular: Homework Club, yearbook, Lego Robotics, historical museum (5th grade), fitness breaks, sensory room for breaks, PBiS night that drew 350 people, Read-a-thon, Spring Fling Carnival, Student Lighthouse Team.
  • Climate: We are like a family, welcoming and positive. We have a sense of anticipation about our focus – parents feel enfranchised and part of the process.

Demographic Characteristics

CMES is primarily Caucasian but does have a bit of a diverse population. They are 88% Caucasian, 11% Hispanic and 1% other. In the 2014-2015 school year they had 243 students enrolled. Of those 243 only 1 student was ELL, 15 were Gifted and Talented (6%), 49 students were special education (20%), and 106 were on Free and Reduced (43.6%). In addition to this they are 51% male, 49% female.

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Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 2.58.31 PM Carrie Martin strives to provide adequate resources for students of all diversities. Many students in ESS found themselves in art classes with the students in their grade.

Climate and Community Culture

Namaqua Elementary School is a neighborhood school located in Loveland, CO as a part of the Thompson School District. It is located in west Loveland next to the Big Thompson River. Namaqua_455x270Loveland is a very tied with the arts ad it is reflected in the schools’ participation in art events such as an annual sculpture show and district art shows at the local museum. According to the Namaqua website their mission is “Build Thinker, Build Learners, Build Character, Through Collaboration and Reflection”. Their PBiS slogan is ROAR. Additional information on the school:

  • Colors: Blue and white
  • Mascot: Wildcats
  • Describe: Walk our talk, the whole child … we are cognizant of who the child is beyond the test score … We prepare students to want to learn and have a passion. We lay a solid foundation for them to make the choices and do what they want. We work really hard to focus on robust learning – to push the student into a deeper conceptual understanding. We develop solid skills and focus on deep, conceptual thinking.
  • Stellar Points: Have made exceptional steps in RtI program; tremendous Gifted and Talented program. We evaluate the whole child to find the best avenues to reach that child; a lot of extracurricular after-school activities where kids find a place to shine – when they find one place to shine, they shine everywhere; before and after school care; full-time kindergarten; Music; PE; Art; Technology; Library; CHAPMPS antibully; and a Partnership with UNC.
  • Special Offerings: Intensive reading program; health and wellness; very active parent organization that engages the school community in activities like the community book fair. Collaboration with UNC (North Carolina) implementation of RtI and raising consciousness about making a difference
  • Extracurricular: Chess, Odyssey of the Mind, Lego robotics, Kid TV, student council, Gifted and Talented, talent show, Outdoors Club
  • Climate: Kids take care of each other (bully-proofing); tightknit; experienced teachers who value learning and continue to refine their craft and grow; a true community – strong and collaborative

Demographic Characteristics

Namaqua is primarily Caucasian but does have a bit of a diverse population. They are 90% Caucasian, 6% Hispanic and 4% other. In the 2014-2015 school year they had 333 students enrolled. Of those 333 only 2 students were ELL, 44 were Gifted and Talented (13%), 32 students were special education (9.6%), and 87 were on Free and Reduced (26.4%). In addition to this they are 53% male, 47% female.

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Namaqua strives to provide adequate resources for students of all diversities. Many students in ESS found themselves in art classes with the students in their grade. Due to the location of Namaqua and the neighborhood they are in there was less free and reduced, less diversity, and a higher rate of GT students.

Classroom Environment

The art room at Carrie Martin is located in a cottage outside and is shared with a GT teacher Wednesday-Friday. Due to this sharing that is happening at this school there is little space and things can get crowded quick. The room can be dark at times so windows are used when possible. There are 4 large tables in the room that can sit 8 students per table.

The art room at Namaqua is adjacent to the gym and is a large room. There is a kiln in the back and and there are 6 tables that can sit 6 students per table. The room has lots of light and there is plenty of room to walk the room.

At each school there are routines that help students be successful. At the beginning of each class period there is an artist of the day picked. The artist of the day picks fellow classmates to help hand out materials for the day, Each table is equipped with pencils and erasers from the start and materials are handed as needed. All materials are labeled and easy to find in each room. If a student needs something additional they know exactly where to find it. The room is also set up for collaboration with other classmates and this sets an environment fit for much creativity and innovation.

School Wide Policies

Both Carrie Martin and Namaqua are “Positive Behavior Intervention Support” (PBiS) which means behavior is explicitly taught and defined. The purpose of this is to establish and maintain effective school environments and maximize academic achievement and behavioral competence of all learners. The Thompson School District website states components of this approach as:

  • Administrative leadership
  • Team-based implementation
  • Define and teach behavioral expectations
  • Acknowledge and reward appropriate behavior
  • Monitor and correct behavioral errors
  • Uses data for decision making
  • Builds parent and community collaboration

The Gifted and Talented Program in Thompson School District is structured to meet the unique, high ability learning needs of students so that they may realize their “lives of great promise.” It is based on referral for consideration and subsequent assessment. The Thompson School District working definition of gifted and talented aligns with the State of Colorado definition which identifies gifted and talented children as “those persons whose abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishment as so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational needs.” Gifted and talented students are capable of high performance, exceptional production, or exceptional learning behavior by virtue of any or a combination of the following areas:

  • General or specific intellectual ability
  • Specific academic aptitude
  • Creative or productive thinking
  • Leadership and human relations abilities
  • Visual arts, performing arts, spatial or musical abilities

The district also offers English Language Acquisition services. The English Language Acquisition (ELA) Department serves students who have Limited English skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing and speak a language other than English in their homes. The ELA Program’s primary goal is to develop English language learners’ English skills to support academic achievement towards the ultimate goal of high school graduation.

The Special Education Department provides services for students identified with a variety of disabilities including learning, emotional and physical. The department provides specialized instruction for students to minimize the impact of their disability and to maximize opportunities for the student to participate in the school environment. Special Education Services are prescribed and defined by the federal IDEA act and are also addressed by the Colorado Department of Education.

Special Education support services include:

  • Continuum of Services: Special Education provides a continuum of services for identified students, ranging from in-class resources to fully contained classroom settings.
  • Direct and support staff: In addition to classroom special education teachers and paraprofessionals, support services are also provided by the following areas: nursing, social worker services, speech and language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, adaptive physical education, parent liaison and psychology.

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