At Forks Elementary School we are very proud of the academic and social programs we have established for our students. Through research, planning, and collaboration, we feel we have created the best system to meet the needs of the students in Forks.
During the day, our students receive over 100 minutes of instruction in math and another 100 minutes of instruction in reading. Subjects such as science and social studies are taught as subject matter “through the English and Language Arts curriculum.” In other words, we teach reading and writing skills while using science and social studies materials for the topics. Additionally, every student receives 30 minutes of intervention in reading and 30 minutes of intervention in math. Intervention consists of small group instruction, or personal learning plans on the computer. Students also participate in music class, computer class, library and PE at least once per week, and PE twice.
In the last several years, district wide committees have worked to research and adopt the finest curriculum and assessment materials currently in education. For assessment, we use I-Ready to determine the reading and math levels of our students, and to ascertain whether or not they are performing at grade level. This assessment is administered three times per year. We also use the Northwest Evaluation Association’s Navigator test on an ongoing basis for intervention purposes in math. Our math curriculum is Bridges, which has received the highest rating of all math curriculums by independent researchers. In English / Language Arts, our school uses “Research Labs” developed by the American Reading Company, in conjunction with the “Independent Reading Levels Assessment” (IRLA) also developed by ARC. IRLA is a comprehensive reading framework that daily monitors student growth based upon what reading skills students should be able to effectively demonstrate mastery in at any given point in time during the school year.
Academics is just one emphasis we focus on to develop “the whole child.” Our teachers and staff hold weekly class meetings to discuss social and emotional issues in the classroom. We use our monthly character traits (respect, honesty, responsibility, etc.) as a point of emphasis for teaching and discussion. In conjunction with this, the class meetings are intended to implement our anti-bullying program called OLWEUS. The last piece of our social and emotional program is our school counselor who weekly works in classrooms, runs student groups, and works to meet the individual needs of our most socially at-risk students. Our high five rules teach students what the expectations for school behavior are, and our monthly Puddle Jumper Assemblies celebrate those students who have earned high five awards as well as those who have best exemplified the month’s character trait.
We are very proud of our students and the school program we have developed for them.
Principal Rob Shadle