Elementary Schools

Overview

 

The Stokes County Schools Elementary Program is committed to providing meaningful learning opportunities and outcomes for all students. Following the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, while applying research-based instructional practices, each student pursues a learning pathway to realize his/her full potential and obtain future success.

Implementing a differentiated approach to learning, classroom instruction is presented in a way that promotes high expectations and provides unique learning experiences. The development of essential foundational skills, critical thinking strategies, personal responsibility, self-reliance, and a positive self-concept are the fundamental goals of the Stokes County Schools Elementary Program.

English Language Arts

As research continues to emphasize the need for the Science of Reading approach to literacy instruction, Stokes County Schools is transitioning to these effective practices. Through explicit, systematic instructional strategies, educators are teaching the essential components of reading: phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. The implementation of such programs as Fundations and  Heggerty are providing the direct phonological awareness and phonics instruction needed to produce strong readers. The establishment of a literacy-rich environment, the use of decodable readers, and the 50/50 approach to fiction and nonfiction topics are also supporting students as they learn to read with proficiency.

Using a direct, structured approach to writing instruction, modeling correct writing skills, and utilizing a 50/50 technique to balance assigned and student-selected topics are producing stronger writers. Writing instruction encompasses the mechanics and conventions, the technical aspects of writing: grammar usage, spelling, punctuation, and paragraphing. Teachers in Stokes County document evidence of student growth by collecting writing samples at three distinct times each school year. Students are directed to write an expository, a narrative, and a persuasive piece for documentation. Opportunities to experiment with writing style and utilize proofreading strategies are provided. 

Stokes County Schools administers the iReady Reading Diagnostic at three designated times each school year to ensure reading instruction is differentiated and responsive to the needs of the learners. 

Mathematics

Students become critical thinkers and lifelong problem solvers with the implementation of evidence-based mathematical strategies. Learners are encouraged to solve mathematical problems correctly, then explain and justify the answer given. Utilizing manipulatives and performing hands-on activities strengthen understanding and creativity as students are encouraged to experiment with trial and error, learn from mistakes, and actively participate in the learning experience. Counting and cardinality, numbers and operations, algebraic thinking, measurement and data, and geometry are the mathematical domains covered in elementary school. These domains contain such skills areas as number sense, patterns, geometric shapes, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, tables, and graphs, etc. Additionally, students are taught measurement using a variety of instruments, including the ruler.


Stokes County Schools administers the iReady Mathematical Diagnostic at three designated times each school year to ensure mathematical instruction is differentiated and responsive to the needs of the learners.

Science

Science, often integrated in both Mathematics and English Language Arts instruction, teaches students to investigate, collect, and interpret information to explain the world around them. Through science, learners are encouraged to ask questions, make predictions, perform experiments, and draw conclusions about the natural and physical world. Hands-on activities, frequently used in the science classroom, provide opportunities for students to make observations, measure, classify objects, engage in meaningful discussions, explore creative thinking, form connections, study cause and effect relationships, and provoke discoveries. 

Social Studies

Social studies, commonly embedded in English Language Arts instruction, prepares students to function as productive members of a global community in the future. From social studies, students acquire knowledge of social values, cultural diversity, productive citizenry, customs and traditions, the decision-making process, democracy, government, geography and map skills, social adaptation, state history, and significant national events.

The Specials

Certified specialists teach students music, art, guidance, physical education, technology, and library lessons. These courses are designed to enrich the curriculum and build a positive school culture. As these professionals teach all K-5 learners for numerous years consecutively, they form meaningful relationships with the children and provide consistency in the routine. 

Music education supports the language, social, and mental development of students. Additionally, this course spotlights those individuals with musical talents while cultivating a fondness for music among all learners. 

Creativity, project development, collaboration, and perseverance are all skills refined in art class. This course instills a passion for art while highlighting those students with artistic gifts.

Social-emotional, academic, and behavioral support is provided by the guidance counselor. Social skills, self-confidence, safety, and decision making are all topics addressed in guidance class. This individual also teaches Character Education and provides counseling for both students and parents as needed.

Physical education promotes a healthy, active lifestyle. Peer relationships, self-confidence, and health benefits increase when P.E. is taught in schools. Physical exertion is also a healthy way to reduce stress, leading to improved mental health for students.   

The media coordinator is responsible for teaching both technology and library skills. Students are exposed to a variety of learning resources and materials in the school library. The students are educated on how to best utilize these items to complete research for projects and other classroom assignments. Appropriate and safe computer/internet practices are addressed in this course. With the exposure to books and the capability of “book checkout”, students are taught responsibility while the love of reading is nurtured. 

Conclusion

Stokes County Schools aspires to educate the whole child. Establishing a learning environment where students feel physically safe, valued, empowered to make decisions, and secure to make mistakes enables us to achieve this goal. Listening to students, using the data to drive instruction, and forming authentic relationships with learners supports the cognitive, social-emotional, physical, and behavioral development of each child.