Our Approach- Elementary School
Literacy and a love of language are at the core of student achievement and lifelong learning. At PAVE, we cultivate literacy by implementing a program that not only teaches students to read and write but also challenges them to think critically about the topics and questions explored in great texts. Through explicit instruction in language development, reading fluency and vocabulary, scholars at PAVE build a strong foundation as confident readers capable of in-depth literary analyses. Inter-curricular units of study enable scholars to master the skills necessary to comprehend complex texts and encourage critical thought as well as acquire important knowledge. PAVE intentionally develops thoughtful readers who have a strong balance of content knowledge and reading skills.
Problem solving and investigation provide the foundation for mathematics at PAVE. PAVE develops scholars who employ numerical reasoning to do the ‘heavy lifting’ when problem solving. We expect our scholars to develop systematic strategies from a knowledge base of deep number sense, practical application, and fluency regarding operations as well as math content. All PAVE teachers utilize and receive training in an approach called Cognitively Guided Instruction. Our school-wide balanced math curriculum includes Investigations, a daily math meeting, and story problems. PAVE expects children to do more than simple learn math. We expect them to deeply understand the subject.
Data and Assessment
PAVE staff knows that continuous improvement in both teaching and learning is the key to achievement for our scholars. Ongoing analysis of scholar performance data acts as the key driver to improve these two integral, interrelated instructional foundations. PAVE employs several practices to ensure that we keep the bar high for our scholars and move them towards achieving at high levels. PAVE believes that all results should be motivating – no matter how scholars are performing – and each performance is viewed as a new starting point from which they can improve. PAVE’s unique school-wide systems support the use of data as an engine for improving instructional practice and scholar learning. Instructional Leadership and Grade Teams hold regular data meetings to examine formative assessments and adjust teaching practices. Our Team constantly and closely examines academic progress to ensure our scholars maintain a college trajectory.
Teacher Training and Professional Development
Research shows that teachers have the single greatest influence over scholar achievement. PAVE values its teachers as professionals and provides a variety of outlets for continuous teacher training and development. Our staff participates in a a two-week summer institute that focuses on foundational practices in classroom management and culture as well as curriculum and instruction. PAVE’s Instructional Leadership Team collaborates with expert consultants to lead workshops to ensure that teachers are prepared for the school year. Regular coaching and support continue throughout the year as we constantly reevaluate and improve pedagogical practices. Through classroom observations and weekly one-on-one coaching meetings, teachers work with their coach to implement feedback and hone instructional techniques. In addition to the Instructional Leadership Team, PAVE teachers often cite their colleagues as critical in their learning and growth as educators.
PAVE strongly believes that every child has unique strengths and that all of our scholars can succeed academically with the right supports in place. By balancing good instruction with a deep knowledge of how children learn, we ensure that all scholars experience rich literature, challenging mathematics, stimulating content, and meaningful social growth. To provide comprehensive support for all learners, the elementary school invests in:
Co-teaching: Each classroom in Kindergarten – 4th grade has two full time, certified teachers. They work to differentiate learning for all scholars and ensure that scholars receive the individualized attention needed to achieve at high levels.
Response to Intervention: We believe that academic struggles should be addressed as soon as possible. PAVE’s elementary school holds daily intervention groups led by trained intervention teachers to ensure that scholars receive remediation and support right when they need it.
English as a Second Language (ESL): To ensure that our ELL scholars are successful, PAVE’s ESL Coordinator employs a Sheltered Instruction model. This model balances support both in and out of the classroom. By collaborating with classroom teachers and interventionists, the ESL Coordinator supports ELL scholars in becoming proficient English speakers, readers, and writers.