Lawrence Township School District (11-2570)

Lawrence Township School District

Lawrence Township School District

Providing educational experiences that provide opportunities for students to grow intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally remains the primary focus of the Myron L. Powell Elementary School. We strive to develop and expand students’ academic skills as well as their character and their social and emotional skills. We do so by striving for each child to successfully demonstrate the Common Core State Standards at each grade level and by fostering a community of respect where children learn how to interact appropriately and productively with peers and adults.

We place a strong emphasis on language arts literacy and mathematics as they serve as a foundation for further learning. Reading is taught using a Balanced Literacy Approach, which includes Guided Reading, in Kindergarten through grade five. DIBELS and Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessmens continue to be administered to screen and monitor students’ progress in learning the necessary skills to become successful readers. In grades six through eight, our reading program is novel based. At these grade levels, teachers use literature circles and small group discussions to engage the students in the various reading selections. Students in grade six through eight in need of intervention participate in the Read 180 program until their deficiencies are remediated and they are able to read on grade level.

Writing as a process is taught from Kindergarten through grade eight, using the 6+1 Traits Model, Writing with Spice and Morning Message. Writer’s Workshop is a main component of our writing program, again, from Kindergarten through grade eight. Students at all grade levels have a writing class as part of their daily schedule. Students also write across all curricular areas, with a strong emphasis on using multiple texts and citing evidence to support claims.

Mathematics is currently taught in grades Kindergarten through grade eight through a combination of traditional, exploratory, and guided math approaches. The Envisions Math series is used in Kindergarten though grade five. This program provides meaningful instruction through a sequential array of experiences designed to help children develop an understanding of concepts through the use of a variety of manipulative materials. Grade six utilizes Envisions Math along with the PMI program, with a focus on investigations and exploratory learning. Grades seven and eight use the Progressive Math Initiative Program from the New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning. Our Math curriculum is enriched through the use of many online programs which allow our teachers to differentiate to various ability levels.

Our Early Childhood Program includes a full day Preschool program for four-year-olds as well as a full-day Kindergarten program. The Highscope Curriculum is fully implemented in our pre-school and kindergarten classrooms.

Our technology curriculum seeks to integrate technology into and across all curricular areas. Technology is also offered as a course across all grade levels and specialized technology electives are offered to our 7th and 8th grade students. Students in grades seven and eight are given the opportunity to select elective courses rather than being assigned classes. This allows them to narrow their focus on the area in which they are most interested. Some of our elective course offerings include Dance, Jewelry Design, Rock Band, Archery and Team-Building. All students in grades 3-8 have a weekly enrichment class that focuses on STEAM processes and ideas.

The Board of Education is committed to the concept of educating the whole child. Numerous co-curricular programs exist to develop students’ talents in the arts and music. Extensive after-school clubs and sports also exist to further develop individual students’ talents, interests, and leadership potential. Among these are Environmental Club, Safety Patrol, Yearbook Club, Newspaper Club, Chess Club, and National Junior Honor Society. Students in grades 5-7 who show leadership potential are invited to be a part of our Future Leaders Club, a group focused on service for the school and community. We have an active Peer Mediators group who work to reduce conflict among their peers. Students in grades 5-8 also have the opportunity to participate in any or all of our competitive and non-competitive sports teams which include field hockey, soccer, basketball, volleyball, bowling, chip and putt golf, and lacrosse. We have adopted Stephen Covey’s Leader In Me principles as the philosophy that guides our student and staff behavior and overall school climate and culture.

All students are given the opportunity to display their theatrical talents by participating in the winter and spring concerts, as well as various plays, shows, and parades. We hold an annual evening talent-show as well as a Rock Band concert in which both staff and students are invited to participate. Students who shine in the area of fine arts may be invited to participate in our art enrichment program and showcase their work at our annual Coffeehouse and Night of the Arts.

The Board of Education is proud of the district’s achievements and is appreciative of the efforts put forth by the professional and support staff that are dedicated to providing our children with a rewarding educational experience in a safe environment. A critical component to maintaining high staff morale and increasing student achievement is providing opportunities for continued adult learning. We implement a well-planned staff development program that helps teachers build and maintain a solid foundation for their teaching. The teachers and principals set measurable goals related to student achievement and meet regularly to review student progress. Through staff meetings and PLCs, our staff engages in collegial discussions based on best practice and research, in order to apply information that is of particular value to the teachers and students.

Parents are involved in many activities throughout the year. They are encouraged to volunteer and share in their child’s education and help establish a true partnership between home and school. Our parent organization, Lawrence Township Education Network, is a platform for such participation and communication. This group is highly involved and motivated to contribute to the educational experience of the children of Myron L. Powell.

Myron L. Powell School strives to fulfill its responsibility to maximize each child’s potential within a caring and positive learning environment. Our devoted teachers, caring parents and enthusiastic students work together to generate an educational environment that is rich in creativity and full of character. We provide all students with the best education possible so they may think, learn, achieve, and grow.