Carolina Park Elementary School (CPES) is a school where teachers choose to teach, families want to send their children, and most importantly, students love to attend each and every day.
CPES is a school where teachers choose to teach as our professional learning community continues to thrive. We foster professional practices that include mutual respect, high expectations with support, a collaborative climate, and choice-based professional development. We believe in treating our teachers as professionals and we trust they use best practices in their instruction to meet the needs of their learners. This year teachers grew professionally through the piloting of the EL curriculum and also through Restorative Practices training.
CPES is a school where families want to send their children. Our teachers are masters at meeting high expectations with quality instruction. Our authentic practices allow students to show their work creatively, learn through highly engaging lessons, and apply relevant real-world experiences. We believe in frequent and open communication with our families and celebrating student accomplishments in the classroom such as publishing parties in writing, student performances, and art shows or art display nights. The warm, caring, child-centered climate is noticeable the moment you enter our school. Families want their children to attend our school because we actively involve parents through our SIC and PTO in decision-making and problem-solving. Stakeholders share a common belief that all of our challenges can be overcome by ensuring that all are making decisions that are in the best interest of children. We were excited to once again host families and performers back to our school this spring as we held our Family Art Night, Special Olympics and Park Palooza Arts Festival.
CPES is a school where students love to attend each and every day. We have created a fun learning environment in which students are challenged and feel safe to make mistakes. Our teachers provide lessons that are differentiated, arts-infused, hands-on and relevant, providing real-world context. We believe in investing in the whole child, focusing not only on education but also on character. Student choice is apparent in all classrooms. Children have the opportunity to utilize technology through one-to-one devices providing content on a variety of skill levels as well as enabling students to explore high interest areas. Opportunities like our Field Day, Talent Show, Park Palooza Arts Festival, and PACK (Pride, Accountability, Commitment, and Kindness) meetings all provide children with additional opportunities to connect with classmates and shine outside of the classroom. This year we also initiated our House System as each child and faculty member joined one of our four houses which further improved our school culture and community.
We pride ourselves on providing an education that aligns with the World Class Skills outlined in the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate. Creativity and innovation drive all that we do. Our teachers are expected and encouraged to provide lessons in a creative way that address the needs of all student learners. Our families are tasked with working with our school’s leadership team through SIC and PTO to provide programs and opportunities for our students. Our students are provided opportunities to consistently complete work samples where relevant learning and innovation can be achieved and then related to real world situations.
Critical thinking, problem solving and improving literacy skills are other areas in which our school’s philosophy and practices directly align with the World Class Skills outlined in the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate. Our collective goal to ensure that all fifth grade students are reading on grade level by 2027 drives our instructional decisions and practices. Our concentrated effort in providing high quality instruction that challenges children to critically think and problem solve has led to excellent assessment results. This data validates our ability to both hold our students to appropriate expectations for high achievement and also to ensure that all of our students are making growth each year. We understand that it is essential to measure achievement and student growth as they are reflective tools that allow us to prepare for the upcoming school year.
We have experienced continued success in our fifth year through hard work, a shared vision, and collaborative teamwork. CPES has quickly become a school where teachers choose to teach, families want to send their children, and most importantly, students love to attend each and every day.
Michael Antonelli, Principal
Cheryl Zimmerman, SIC Chair