Aiken Elementary School is a student-centered, high achieving school serving over 540 students and their families. We serve students from pre-school to fifth grade with diverse backgrounds and needs. We strive to help all of our students develop the world-class skills and life and career characteristics of the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate by providing a safe, caring, and academically challenging learning environment. Our Belief Statements are: All change and growth start with ME, fostering healthy relationships in a safe environment are out top priority, All students have gifts and the ability to grow, All faculty, staff, and students are respected and valued, and all faculty, staff, and students are responsible for their decisions and actions. At Aiken Elementary, we put our beliefs into action by challenging our students with a rigorous curriculum, instructional practices that reflect best practice and thoughtful planning, and by providing equal access to the learning environment every day in a variety of settings.
In order for our students to reach their full potential, it is essential that we collaborate with parents and community members. Communication among all stakeholders, students, teachers, and parent/community members is critical to our success. In addition, research shows that in order for students to reach their full potential in school and in life, we must provide instruction on academics and social and emotional skills. In short, we must teach the whole student if we want a healthy school climate and improved academic results. At Aiken Elementary, we have several programs that include parents and community members in our efforts to address the whole student and improve academic results. We have the Olweus Bully Prevention Program and the Toolbox Project program that teaches children how to manage their emotions properly, empathize with others, follow rules, and solve problems cooperatively. We practice a growth mindset and mindfulness philosophy. In addition, we invite community members to school each month to speak to children at all grade levels about college and career readiness. They share their educational background and their career pathways. On-going professional development for teachers supports these programs as well as all areas of curriculum, instruction, and student achievement.
Collaboration, creativity, and creative thinking all mesh seamlessly within an instructional day at Aiken Elementary. We have group research projects within grade levels and between different grade levels. For example, a first-grade class working with a fourth-grade class to create power point presentations in science. Several classes use the shared feature on Word documents and power points so that students may work and edit collaboratively in real time. The expectation is that all students read and write independently and collaboratively and at high levels.
At Aiken Elementary, we believe that our school should be not only a safe place, but also a place full of joy. Learning should be a joyful experience for everyone: staff, students and parents. Learning should not be restricted to textbooks, tests, or lectures. We believe that technology in all its forms is a tool that takes us places and creates inquiry and excitement in our daily learning lives. We are constantly finding new ways to make use of the technology we have and to find new technology to make good use of the plans for learning we have established.
Critical thinking is evident at all grade levels, particularly within the Reading/Writing workshop. Students are encouraged to infer and compare in Independent reading between texts and in writing by comparing and analyzing various texts. Project-based learning provides avenues for students to collaborate and create. Several classes have used Wax Museum projects and Living History projects to display their learning for the local community at the Aiken Historical Museum. Additionally, Robotic Club and Maker’s Space provide opportunities for students to create, think, and build.
Aiken Elementary is a school of excellence. Aiken Elementary is a community school. We are the Aiken Elementary Mavericks and we question, inquire, and actively seek knowledge and understanding every day. We are life-long learners and we enjoy every day spent at Aiken Elementary learning together. "I am, You are, We are AES!"