Our goal at Latta Elementary School is to help all students develop world class knowledge, world class skills, and life and career characteristics based on the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate, an effort to prepare all children to be college and career ready. Latta Elementary School provides the foundation to ensure that this goal is realized. The Montessori approach to learning is available to students to extend their abilities to think critically and problem solve. This multi-age learning approach is now operational for all 4K and 5K students. Lower Elementary Montessori has grown to 15 multi-age classes (Grades 1-3), and five fourth grade transition classes. This approach provides for complete student differentiation through individualized learning settings. Since subjects are fully integrated, content learning is layered, allowing for stronger and more meaningful content coverage. Both Montessori and fourth grade transition classes are focusing on problem based learning, real world applications, research, and independent learning.
Becoming a positive, contributing member of our school, community, country, and world is the operating basis of our student development. All of our students, along with participation from community supporters, have the opportunity to engage in projects and programs to improve our community such as our Happy Feet project sponsored by the Latta Rotary Club and Latta Elementary School. Our students and staff also assisted in outreach programs by providing food items to local families in need.
Every classroom of our facility provides for both an indoor and outdoor learning space. Learning subject area content through the environment of classroom gardens has become a reality, and Latta Elementary School currently has 64 classroom gardens as well as an outdoor classroom. In addition, the outdoor Nature Play Park provides a positive, natural play environment that gives children the opportunity to exercise their brains and bodies. The district has also created the Viking Greenway Trail on the Latta Elementary School property, which is a 1.5 mile walking/nature trail accessible to all students and community members. An observation deck overlooking a natural pond and a Labyrinth were also added to enhance the instructional arena.
At Latta Elementary, the ELA and Math curriculum are both based on the South Carolina College and Career state standards and are now paced and measured in kindergarten through grade four by iReady assessments. The grade 4 classes continue to use enVision by Savvas as the thinking approach to mathematics. Reading instruction is guided by a state supported Reading Coach where both learning to read and reading to learn strategies are supported and implemented. These include progress monitoring through the use of iReady and Fountas and Pinnell and the engagement strategies of High Progress Literacy. Technology is available in our lab, classrooms, and library with the media center serving as the research and instructional support hub.
All students were provided a Chromebook to assist in instruction as needed. Students who are working below grade level were offered extra instruction in our Afterschool Academic Recovery Program and/or Summer Reading Camp.
Latta Elementary School continues to strive to fulfill its mission of preparing children for the world of the future. Learning opportunities provided for our children in the context of real life will promote a community of lifelong learners and ensure a positive future for our children and our community.
Dollie R. Morrell