Our school is helping all students develop the World Class Skills of the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate by purposefully planning, providing meaningful instruction, and teamwork.
Daily common planning times provide teachers the opportunity to collaborate and design meaningful lessons that help students develop strategies that they can use to become lifelong learners. Grade-level team meetings are used to develop weekly lessons and prepare short-term plans. Weekly Collaborative Conferences allow teachers time to meet with Support Staff in order to refine long-range plans and assist in putting short-range plans into action. Daily differentiated class instruction, lessons, and activities strengthen all of the World Class Skills necessary for the SC Graduate. Teachers work diligently to develop and plan learning activities, questions, and assessments that encourage students to think both critically and creatively and use instructional formats that allow for student communication and collaboration.
Following planning with our librarian, all students in kindergarten through fifth grade participate in quarterly library inquiry projects. These research sessions provide opportunities for students to communicate and collaborate with classmates using both print and digital resources. Students use the information gathered during their research to create projects that allow them to showcase what they have learned. Students take pride in sharing their projects with an authentic audience of both family and fellow students at the conclusion of the unit of study.
Students put critical thinking and creativity into action while participating in Project Lead the Way and NASA Lab lessons and projects. Project Lead the Way activities teach students the engineering design process which helps students understand the importance of a growth mindset, perseverance, and learning from previous experiences. NASA Lab activities involve students in enrichment activities that connect science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Project and problem-based learning are integral components of both of these classes.
Our connection to NASA as an alumni Explorer School means that we are able to offer multiple opportunities for NASA enrichment throughout the day and year. Our STARLab portable planetarium, Mars and Moon maps, down-link opportunities with the International Space Station, and whole school enrichment units provide unique and meaningful experiences for our students. Teachers benefit from onsite sessions with NASA specialists, professional development webinars, and access to numerous resources.
Additional Programs - Coding (using Hour of Code, Botley, WeDo, Sphero, and VEX), NASA Family Night activities, Civil Air Patrol lessons, StarBase week-long field study, Forest Lake Today news show STEAM-Fest, STEM Career Day, and after-school clubs (VEX Robotics, STEM for Kids, and Strategery Chess and Games) provide even more opportunities for our students to work in teams, think critically and creatively while learning problem-solving strategies.
Truly, at Forest Lake, we are preparing our children to develop the World Class Skills of the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate each and every day as supported by our daily school pledge which we recite together each morning, “Everything we do at Forest Lake involves teaching and learning …. We are the Eagles, soaring to be the best!”
Rachel Porter-Dent, School Improvement Council Chair
Benjamin Jackson, Principal