Cedarhurst Elementary School's mission is to create a safe and caring environment for self-confident, independent learners succeeding academically and socially.
Dear Cedarhurst Families,
Welcome to another exciting year at Cedarhurst Elementary School! Your child deserves our very best therefore our goal is to know each student by name, strength and need. In the coming school year, we will continue to work on improving our reading, writing and math progress with a multi-tiered system of support that includes a blended technology learning approach to enhance our students’ access to math and literacy content. We will continue to focus our learning on the Common Core State Standards being implemented throughout Washington State. These standards ask more of our students and we know that they are ready to do the deep thinking that is asked of them!
Our School Action Plans for the 2014-2015 school year which align with our district strategic plan, are working to ensure students will be prepared to meet the following goals:
95% of our kindergarten students will be at grade level standard by the time they are in 3rd grade
Reduce out of school suspension rates to 0% by 2015.
95% of our 6th grade students will be at grade level standard in Algebra by the time they enter 9th grade
To meet these goals, we will focus on the following things this year:
In reading this year, we will continue to work on implementing the district literacy frameworks. We will strengthen how the state standards are being addressed and met in daily instruction. Every child at Cedarhurst is assessed one on one using a common assessment system called Fountas and Pinnell and has reading instruction designed to meet their specific needs. The information allows us to place students from Kindergarten through 6th grade on a continuum. The goal is to move students from a level A (usually in Kindergarten) to a level Z by 7th grade. In 2013-2014, using this assessment system and by planning targeted reading instruction, nearly 80% of our students met their specific reading goals and 100% of students made growth. We also use technology-based programs such as MyOn and Imagine Learning English. These programs serve the purpose of targeting specific student needs and support core instruction and can be accessed from home. The new state standards place an emphasis on balancing the amount of fiction and non-fiction reading that a child engages in. Therefore, you will see that your child will spend time reading and writing about Science and Social Studies. Students will also experience hands-on science in every grade.
In math, we will continue to implement our district-adopted math program, Math in Focus. The program has an emphasis on visualization-teaching our students through a concrete, pictorial and abstract strategy for each math skill. We will also continue to complement our math program with a blended technology programs such as ST Math and Think Through Math. The goal in blended technology programs is to enhance the core instruction provided by the teacher. Students can log on from home to work on their specific goals and parents can engage in supporting their children with these programs. Students who complete their expected work on these programs show higher rates of success on assessments and have a deeper understanding of the math concepts.
In writing, we will be in our 2nd year of implementing the Units of Study by Lucy Calkins. This past year, it was incredible to see how, in a very short time, our students saw themselves as writers. Teachers received extensive professional development on how to implement the writing instruction effectively and it showed in the students’ work. Students wrote in a variety of genres (narrative, informational, persuasive, etc.) at much higher levels of complexity than we have seen in the past.
To support the whole child, we focus on serving their social, emotional and relational needs in addition to academics. We do this by using a research based model called PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Supports) which is a system wide approach to creating safer and more effective schools with school wide and classroom discipline systems. We have been partners with the University of Washington for 4 years and work closely with them to continue to improve our systems for supporting students. As a part of this model, students follow the Cedarhurst Guidelines for Success: Respect, Responsibility and Safety. These values are the basis for how we discuss and teach how to be a good citizen and compassionate human being. All students and staff at Cedarhurst are able to speak a common language around these guidelines throughout the school and common areas. We will continue implementation of Second Steps and Steps to Respect, Anti-bullying Programs through the Committee for Children. Our school counselor and behavior interventionist work closely with PBIS teams, teachers and families to support each student. In addition, we have some amazing young students who have formed clubs to prevent bullying to make our school safe. As a way to honor the hard work of our students, we have several different ways to celebrate growth and success. We have weekly school drawings, classroom celebrations, school-wide celebrations throughout the year. We also have monthly Spirit Assemblies where students from each classroom are acknowledged for their hard work on academics and citizenship.
Partnering with our families is the key to student success! We look forward to continuing to offer more opportunities for families to be involved in our school community. We have several different ways that you can get involved. You can help our school be a better place by volunteering to work in classrooms, help on the playground, help in the parking lot, pop popcorn, help in the lunchroom and much more. All you need to do is fill out the volunteer paperwork in the office. We also have a PTA that is dedicated to making our school a positive and engaging community. In addition, we have a Spanish speaking group called Hablemos that meets once a month to learn about how to support their students and they work to make our school a rich place to learn. We have several Family Nights throughout the year and we’d love to see you there! This year we will host our annual Multi-Cultural Night, our Science Fair and our 2nd annual Art Night. We will also have Family Fun Nights throughout the year where you can learn about how your child will be taught Math, Reading and Writing, play games and have pizza. Finally, we have a wonderful performing arts program with our music, choir and band. In the spring, we have school plays put on by several classrooms. Cedarhurst students are a talented bunch of children who know how to dance, sing and act!
We are looking forward to another great year at Cedarhurst! We welcome your ideas and your partnership.
A school construction bond to repair or replace deteriorating schools and ease overcrowding will go before voters on February 10, 2015. After seeking community input following the November election, the school board voted December 17 to place a new bond measure on the February ballot.
Voters will have an opportunity to renew their investment in Highline students and teachers in the next election. A three-year Educational Programs and Operations Levy renewal is one of two school funding measures on the February 10 ballot.
Results from a recent online survey show staff, families, and the community are generally supportive of the bond package that was put to voters on last November's ballot. The bond fell less than one percentage point short of the 60 percent needed for passage.
Teachers across the district are receiving extra support in their classrooms this month thanks to more than $65,000 in grants from the Highline Schools Foundation. The Foundation awarded 89 Excel Grants to teachers and programs across the district in December.
We face two critical issues as a school district: aging buildings and crowded schools. A bond measure that addresses these issues was on the November ballot. Learn more about the election here. Help us build for tomorrow, today.
Highline Public Schools has a new video that illustrates our bold goals for students. The animated five-minute video follows a family on Highline's "path to success," telling the story without a single word.