Hunley Park Elementary School opened its doors in 1959, many years ago. However, our commitment to our community has remained constant throughout the years, which is to develop the world-class skills expected of a South Carolina graduate for every child. Our teachers and staff focus on providing our scholars with rigorous curricula that promote literacy, student engagement, critical thinking, and collaboration. Our teachers recognize that social-emotional learning is essential; therefore, they provide a supportive learning environment that supports our young scholars' social and emotional well-being.
To promote literacy, our young scholars read texts with academic topics relevant to their world, allowing them to make connections and have rich discussions with their peers. Walking into our classrooms, you will see teachers facilitating discussions with our scholars using collaborative discussion protocols. These protocols allow students to think and exchange ideas, encouraging all students to participate and be engaged.
Our scholars have opportunities to improve their numeracy skills; each day, they become more versed in the rules of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and decimals. Understanding these areas of math is essential in school life and future careers. Our scholars learn math concepts by using visual models, using a variety of ways to solve complex problems, and discussing and defending their answers with their classmates. It is a joy to hear our scholars making sense of math concepts to make sense of their world and connect those concepts with their environment.
Our field trips strengthen our scholars' knowledge on a variety of topics. From those experiences, they have learned about bees while visiting Bee City; animal defense mechanisms with presenters from Edisto Island; Serperntarium, force, and motion, anatomy while exploring at EdVenture; the engineering design process with Tinker Toys from the Children's Museum Tinker Toys Exhibits; and African drumming from The Deninufay Dance Group. The scholars met author Wendy Blair and listened to books read by parents, who were our mystery readers.
Additionally, we offer opportunities for students to learn the elements of art with our art teacher, movement with our physical education teacher, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics with our STEM and computer teacher, and piano with our music teacher. We are fortunate to have partnered with High Star Hoops, allowing our students to participate in competitive sports such as basketball and cheerleading.
Beyond academics and extracurricular activities, we focus on maintaining a safe learning environment that promotes positive behaviors for all our scholars. We are a Positive Behavior Intervention System (PBIS) school. We use the PBIS framework and the corresponding lessons to teach students our academic, behavior, and safety expectations. We rely on the lessons from Second Step to foster social and emotional skills. We celebrate the students who demonstrate these behaviors by awarding them with BEE bucks that they can use to purchase items from our school store, and they can attend our PBIS celebrations that we hold each semester.
Our goal at Hunley Park is to create a positive school environment that meets our students' social, emotional, and academic needs. All adults at Hunley Park are committed to this goal—equipping our scholars with the skills they need to be effective contributors to their community, compete globally, and be ready for their future in their careers or college.
Katchia Gethers, Ed.D., Principal
Kathleen Gallagher, SIC