Welcome to Springfield Elementary School!It's exciting to have the opportunity to welcome you back to another school year at Springfield Elementary. Our school's theme continues to be "BE UNCOMMON!" In other words, to seek excellence in all that we do and to never be complacent or satisfied with "good enough." Our number one focus will continue to be ensuring high levels of learning for all children. It is also our desire to create a learning environment that is safe, welcoming, and engaging for all members of our learning community.Our school offers a balanced curriculum between the core (Reading/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies) and specialty areas (Physical Education, Music, World Cultures, and Media Literacy). We're coming off another successful year in which we saw strong growth in a variety of areas. We've have consistently been recognized as a high-growth, Minnesota Reward School and we are proud of the hard work that our students, staff, and families have put forth to be recognized as such. Our assessment results reflect high degrees of student achievement across grade levels and the feedback that we've received from our stakeholders has been very positive. We look forward to building upon that success and striving toward higher goals in the year ahead. A few programs and opportunities to note in our school are as follows:
- Our students participate in a twice-a-year initiative called "Tigers Give Back." It will consist of students at each grade-level participating in a pair of service learning projects within our community. We use this effort to teach the value of hard work all while serving the businesses and community members that have been so generous to our school.
- In addition, we're also excited to offer our students access to a flexible learning space known as the "STEAM Learning Lab." Through the development of our 1:1 technology initiative, we've been able to repurpose space in one of our former computer labs to create an environment where kids can learn more about science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. This space will allow kids to experiment, build, design, create, get messy and have fun.
- In addition to our STEAM Lab, we also host a STEAM Day in the spring of the year that allows students to explore and learn about a variety of key standards in a hands-on environment. It connects them with students and staff at all levels and will help to develop a fascination with the scientific world.
- We also host an elementary Exploratory Day. This will be a day shortly before testing that will give our staff the opportunity to expand on the general curriculum and teach a personal talent, hobby, or skill of interest to them. Students will be given the opportunity to preregister for these courses and have a chance to connect with their teachers in a whole new enviornment.
- The Tiger Cub's Preschool program continues as we welcome nearly 60 new children and families to the district. Four different sections of classes will run from Monday to Friday with students grouped as 3 year-olds or 4-5 year-olds. The Tiger Cub's Preschool program has always been recognized as a 4-star Parent Aware rating (the highest marks possible) by the Minnesota Department of Education and we look forward to developing a top-notch early childhood environment for our community. Also new within our preschool program this year is the expansion of the Minnesota Reading Corps with two additional tutors and the use of an additional classroom to further enhance active learning opportunities.
We're pleased to offer three sections of all-day, every-day kindergarten in our school. We've had this structure in place for a number of years now and our students have a wonderful experience with excellent teachers and diverse learning opportunities. This also allows us to maintain small class sizes despite our large numbers. Grades 2-6 are departmentalized between 2 sections in our school. One teacher in each grade level focuses on the reading and social studies instruction while the other teaches the math and science. This allows our staff to become true content experts in their curriculum and it allows our students opportunities to work with all teachers during their intermediate years. Enrollment remains strong in our school and we're excited about the opportunities it's affording our community.
Continuation of the Minnesota Reading Corps literacy program for grades K-3. In an effort to ensure that all students are reading at grade-level by the end of 3rd grade, our school utilizes highly-trained tutors to deliver daily individualized support to students needing additional assistance. Our program will host two tutors this year which will effectively double our capacity by which to serve students.
Classroom presentation tools aligned with 21st century learning. SMARTboards and REDCAT audio devices are in each classroom to provide a medium by which to best engage and communicate our learning objectives with students.
Expanded access to technology throughout our building. Thanks to a robust wireless network throughout the building we're able to best utilize laptop computers, Apple iPad's, and Nook e-Reader's within both our core and specialty curriculum areas. As our district continues to evolve in its progressive use of technology as a 1-to-1 site in grades 3-12.
Engaging instructional resources through online learning tools such as Accelerated Reader, Study Island, IXL Math, Reading Eggs, MyOn Reader and the Learning Point Navigator portal.
Continued use of the "Tiger Tickets" positive referral program. Our code of conduct is known as "The Tiger Way--Respect, Responsibility, Safety." As part of our PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) initiative, we seek to model, teach, affirm, and communicate these values, and recognize the good things that students are doing in our school.
Another core focus of our work is our "Standards-Based Grading--Improving Feedback for Learning" initiative. As many of you already know, our staff has engaged in a great deal of study and planning over the past few years and many of you have even taken part in surveys and focus groups discussing the topic of grading. If you'd like to learn more, please take a few minutes to explore the videos linked on the left side of this page. My hope is that you'll develop a deeper understanding of the concept and will be more informed as you communicate with our staff and observe your child's progress throughout this school year.I'm also especially thankful for the generous support of our local businesses and families. Thousands of dollars have been raised over the course of the committee's existence and our annual fall fundraiser, the Tiger Trek bike-a-thon, is always a special time of celebration for our school community. These funds continue to raise the standard of opportunity for students at Springfield Elementary through tools of technology, curriculum resources, guest presenters, and off-campus learning experiences.If you're interested in looking for opportunities to volunteer, we'd welcome your inquiries about ways to get involved. Your efforts to get connected and stay involved in your child's education both at home and at school will make a great difference in their learning. If you have questions about any of the initiatives in our school, please don't hesitate to contact me. My door is always open to visitors and you're more than welcome to call or email at any time. We're expecting another great school year and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to meet and greet you all in the months ahead.BE UNCOMMON!Jeff KuehnSpringfield Elementary Principal507-723-4286