In seeking to strengthen our provision of world-class knowledge through rigorous standards, our teacher teams placed a renewed focus on working together to ensure students both received a guaranteed and viable curriculum and mastered the essential skills and standards required for success at the next grade level. We accomplished this through a combination of hybrid, face-to-face, and virtual instructional models. We began the year by identifying the gaps in student learning resulting from school closure in March 2020. We shared the identified gaps in learning with the teachers at the next grade level, so they could target the learning students missed in ELA and math. Teacher teams met regularly to discuss formative assessment data and monitor student performance to provide appropriate interventions and extensions of the learning. Our well-developed school-wide Response to Intervention framework provided additional student support. The pandemic forced teachers to differentiate instruction without shuffling students within and outside their grade levels. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we suspended our enrichment math class in grades 3, 4, and 5 where students intermingled for differentiated instruction.
As school reopened in the fall, we worked all the more to develop the world-class skills and life and career characteristics students need to access the world-class knowledge coming to them in a variety of instructional models. Students honed their problem-solving skills to more effectively use technology, communicate with their teachers and others, and rely on perseverance and a strong work ethic to complete their school work. Building on their previous technology skills, students adeptly navigated Google Classroom, Google Meet, Seesaw, and a host of educational websites and platforms on their district-issued iPads. As students returned to face-to-face instruction mid-year, teachers continued modeling their commitment to life-long learning by further enhancing their use of instructional technology through collaboration and professional development in best practices.
Springdale remains devoted to developing the life and career characteristics described in the Profile of the SC Graduate. We continued our Dolphins D.I.V.E. positive behavior system with monthly celebrations and recognized individual students each quarter who exemplified showing Dignity, Interacting well with others, Valuing their education, and Encouraging self and others. Dolphin P.O.D.S. (Positive Outreach for Dedicated Students) met monthly to complete activities promoting positive choices, interpersonal skills, and creativity through STEM challenges and group discussions. Teachers pinpointed specific students to receive a mentor for additional positive outreach during the school year. Our School Resource Officer fully implemented a supplemental monthly character recognition program called Dolphins Committed to Character, which highlighted two students monthly from each grade.
The Coronavirus posed unusual challenges that limited community involvement this school year. Springdale Baptist Church remained a strong partner in providing school supplies, weekly snack packs, and a pen pal club in place of its normal after-school club. We appreciate our close ties with the Town of Springdale and its offices, which are always willing to lend a helping hand. We continue to seek ways to improve as a school and appreciate the support and input from our School Improvement Council.
The Coronavirus also impacted our slate of annual events. Students and families participated virtually in an Open House, Veteran’s Day performance, and Art Show. As a culminating activity, students and staff created a mural to represent our endurance through a difficult school year. Additionally, each classroom contributed to a time capsule so future generations might have a glimpse into the year of the Coronavirus. While Run Hard, Celebration of the Arts, and the Reading Carnival, among many other happenings, were suspended this year due to the pandemic, we eagerly look forward to resuming these events next year.
Thank you to our Springdale community for your support as we continue to strive toward excellence at Springdale Elementary. With student safety foremost in our minds as always, we will look ahead to next year ready to continue building world-class knowledge and skills, as well as life and career characteristics, for all our future graduates.
Hope Vrana, Principal
Kerry Boykin, SIC Chair