At Jeremy Ranch Elementary School we endeavor to provide the highest quality and most comprehensive education possible. I know it can be difficult to see the big picture of our whole school. With that in mind, I would like to help make you aware of the many services and programs we provide. I’ve compiled a list, by no means complete, and in no particular order, of what Jeremy Ranch Elementary students have available to them:
High quality instruction. Based on 2011 end of year core curriculum exams, Jeremy Ranch Elementary is among the top performing schools in the state. The whole-school proficiency score for JRES is over 90% in Math, Language Arts, and Science. Our teacher teams work closely to monitor ongoing progress and adjust instruction appropriately.
A variety of instructional opportunities. JRES teachers have invested great energy in refining our instructional delivery. While homerooms are heterogeneously grouped, students are frequently grouped by skills to narrow the instructional focus. This benefits students at every level. Specialists and trained paraprofessionals assist with small groups, bringing group sizes as low as 4:1 for students who are challenged in developing math and reading skills. Ongoing assessments allow for regrouping as students continue to gain skills. Our Kindergarten offers a full-day program to students who will benefit by more time to build their skills. We also host a Kindergarten-enrichment program through Community Education for families with that need.
A commitment to high-ability students. JRES has eight teachers endorsed in Gifted and Talented education or actively working toward their G&T endorsement. We have at least one G&T endorsed teacher in each grade, 1st through 5th. Our Academic Coach is available to help all teachers as they differentiate for high ability learners. Also, our district G&T Coordinator meets weekly with small groups in 4th and 5th grade.
Well-trained teachers. Professional learning is of high priority in the Park City School District. JRES teachers are trained in Sheltered Instructional Observation Protocol, Understanding by Design, Love and Logic, Differentiation, Early/Next Steps Reading Instruction, Comprehensive Math Instruction, and more. 100% of JRES teachers are “highly qualified” under federal guidelines, while 50% have completed advanced degrees. Further, our teachers enjoy the support of our Instructional Coach, who is here to help all teachers hone their craft.
Access to specialized teachers. JRES students are taught by certified, full-time PE, Library, Music, and Counseling teachers. This not only offers invaluable instruction and variety to our students’ days, but also allows all classroom teachers a daily opportunity to plan collaboratively with their grade-level colleagues.
Dual Language Immersion. JRES will begin French Dual Language Immersion with next year’s first grade. These students will spend half of their day in a French only classroom. DLI is unique and effective because students learn content through language, and language through content. The DLI program will expand by one grade level each year.
Math and Science focus. Beginning in 2012, all JRES teachers will embark on a Math Endorsement program tailored to our school and taught by BYU faculty. Also beginning in 2012, all students will have access to a Science Lab, in order to provide hands-on Science activities on a frequent basis.
The infusion of technology into everyday instruction. Our 5th grade teachers are each trained and endorsed in eMints instructional strategies, which focuses on the skillful integration of technology in the curriculum for higher-level thinking and active student engagement. The 5th grade has high computer access - one computer for each two students – which makes the use of technology as seamless as the use of pencil and paper. Each grade level makes use of Apple iTouch devices in multiple subjects. Each JRES student is given frequent computer experience through the use of our computer lab and COWS (computers on wheels). Students create unique products through the use of technology, such as movies, books, powerpoint presentations, etc. Each JRES classroom is equipped with a projector, audio enhancement, document cameras, digital cameras, and student computers. JRES teachers also have access to five interactive white boards. 5th grade students enjoy a Lego Robotics unit, in which they work in teams to create a unique, working robot. All teachers have access to iPads to enhance instruction, and next year each teacher will have access to iPads for student use in small groups or centers. In order to keep all this technology operating properly, we have a well-trained, accessible, and patient, Technology Specialist on site.
Professionals to meet individual student needs. At JRES we have two Special Educators, as well as trained and experienced paraprofessionals, who modify instruction to make the curriculum accessible to all students. We have a Speech Therapist who is able to meet with her students several times each week. Through the district, our students have access to an Occupational Therapist, a Physical Therapist, as well as a Psychologist/Behavior Specialist, all experienced in meeting the unique needs of children.
Responsive and caring Guidance Counselors. Our Counselors actively teach all students a weekly, grade-level appropriate guidance curriculum that targets the local and global social, health, and safety issues. Our Counselors also support individual students and families with a broad range of issues that may otherwise interfere with learning.
A school-wide Citizenship Success Plan. Throughout the school we promote four traits (“We are Responsible, Honest, Caring, and Respectful) that lead to “Success.” We strive to recognize our students for their developing social skills, and we honor positive problem-solving.
High quality breakfast and lunch program. The Utah State Office of Education has ranked the school lunch menus offered by Park City School District as the best in the state. According to the child nutrition specialists at the USOE, “the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables offered is wonderful. The menus were fun and different, and we did not see a better planned menu.” Jeremy Ranch Elementary was awarded the 2011 Healthier US School Silver Medal by the USDA, one of only two schools in Utah to achieve the designation.
A well-stocked Media Center. The JRES library houses a collection of 15,000 books and 23 magazine subscriptions from which students may choose. Our teachers have access to professional books and magazines, as well as over 800 videos and DVDs to enhance classroom instruction. Teachers can also utilize an additional 2311 videos, along with pictures, video clips, and interactive diagrams, through our online streaming subscription. The Media Center also provides audio-visual equipment and houses the school broadcast set. Our certified Media Specialist keeps the collection up to date and in good repair.
Support for language learning needs. Our English Language Learning students are fortunate to have the support of our highly trained ESL Specialist and her paraprofessionals. They work tirelessly to ensure that students who are learning the English language have the materials and support they need to meet the same learning goals as their native-English speaking peers.
A clean, healthy, and inviting facility. Our custodial staff is committed to the health and safety of our students, and they keep our school building exceptionally clean. Their emphasis is on the well being of our students. Their attention to detail is evident the moment you step into the building. Our Nurse is here part-time to see that we meet all state and federal guidelines regarding the health needs of our students, and she is available to students who are feeling unwell. Our secretarial staff is always ready to welcome all students and parents with a smile and solve the dizzying array of concerns that come their way.
Extensive reading instructional framework. While all of our teachers are accomplished teachers of reading, our students also have access to an exceptional Reading Specialist. Her time is split between improving the reading instruction school-wide, training her staff of Reading Aides, and meeting with small groups of students. She also manages an extensive Leveled Library that is available to all teachers and students. JRES is also home to one of the state’s premier STAR reading programs. This gives students the opportunity to read 1:1 with adult volunteers.
Established community support. Our STAR reading program is just one example of the immense support JRES receives from our community. At any time of the week numerous parents can be found volunteering their time to our school. Our PTO is a strong organization that is focused on improving our students’ educational experience through the raising and distribution of funds, coordination of volunteer efforts, operation of book fairs and the ski/snowboard program, and so much more. Our stellar Masterpieces in Art program offers quality Art instruction to all students, and is operated start to finish by parents.
A variety of extra-curricular opportunities. For many students, the school day is not finished at 3:05. Our Cool After School program offers extended opportunities for Math and Language Arts instruction. JRES also has a long-standing Foreign Language program that offers Spanish and French instruction twice weekly. Students may also be involved in Drama, Golf, Art, Science and Lego programs. Our Get Out And Play program introduces students to alpine or Nordic skiing, as well as ski jumping at the Utah Olympic Park. Students may attend Camp Hawk, our established and popular after school program, which includes K-5 students. Next year we look forward to rolling out a new Odyssey of the Mind program as well!
This is a remarkable school because of the passionate faculty, staff, supportive parents, and hard-working students. Thank you for making the time to read this, and please contact me if you would like to further discuss this article.