Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students,
Welcome to Whittier Elementary School – an Arizona A+ School of Excellence! - as so indicated by the Arizona Educational Foundation, a privately funded foundation in the spring of 2012! This is a three year award for Whittier! The most successful school year academically and socially is the goal that we continue to hold each year for Whittier’s students!
To understand the focus we maintain on our students’ academic success, I want to share with you that many years ago Whittier’s reading program, in our Grades K to 3 classrooms, began to look different. We had received a state grant titled “Reading First” and we began to better apply scientific based reading research best practices for more effective reading instruction. This seven year grant helped us turn our reading program around. Reading skill achievement steadily increased and instructional practices and student achievement in reading have continued at a successful level for all of our grades, K to 6.
Two years ago, we added a math intervention program for our Grades 4 to 6 classrooms. Students are selected for math (and reading) intervention programs through a review of assessment data throughout the school year. Class size is typically five students to one staff member - another research based best practice.
An additional math support came into play last year at our Grade 3, and this was expanded to include Grades 2 to 5 this year. Through our involvement with the Rodel Foundation, another privately foundation that supports public education, our students are experiencing a tremendously positive math achievement support program - MACRo (Math Achievement Club by Rodel). The goals of this program are to provide math support and parent involvement with a strong focus on the work of a national alliance of many states - the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career).
By applying scientific based educational research to classroom instruction in all subject areas; by providing our students with solid instruction that is directed at student mastery of state curriculum standards; and through encouraging appropriate involvement of parents in the educational support for their children, we know that we are making the biggest difference for our students.
With the attendance initiatives that we have in place at Whittier, we have held increased student attendance since 2003, including a three-year span where Whittier students achieved a new highest Average Daily Attendance (ADA) rate for each of those three years, since the year that Whittier opened, 1961. It is clear to us - our kids want to be at school because they enjoy the teaching and the learning success that they are experiencing!
With parents and school staff working together, we know we are providing the best overall learning environment for our students. Please be sure to contact our office staff, your child’s classroom teacher, and our PTO to explore ways in which you can become more involved in your children’s education.