New River Community,
I am grateful to continue to lead New River Elementary school for the third year. Last year, our theme was “Time to Grow.” We focused on having a growth mindset, setting goals, and celebrating each small step while viewing mistakes as opportunities to learn. Our students thrived last year and the growth we saw academically and socially was amazing! We are going to continue our focus on growth mindset with this year’s theme, “The Power of Yet.” With our focus on growth, students acknowledge where their current skill levels are and they are informed of where their skills will grow to, using the language of “Yet.” For example, instead of saying, “I don’t understand this math concept,” they say “I don’t understand this math concept yet.” This shift in thinking helps students develop self-confidence through hope and a belief they can achieve their goals.
As we move through the year, we will continue to ensure all students achieve high levels of learning through our multi-tiered process which includes solid instruction for all students, re-teaching to those who need it, and additional interventions to fill in learning gaps. Students are taught the Arizona State Standards. Teachers communicate learning targets that are aligned to the standards that students are expected to learn. They are given many opportunities to learn those targets through various methods of teaching. Rubrics are used to measure student progress towards standards on a 1-4 scale per standard and converted to a letter grade on the report card.
As a STEM school, students will continue to problem solve and use critical thinking skills through hands on inquiry based science, technology, engineering and mathematics projects. In addition to our STEM program, students also have the opportunity to participate in ecology club, music, art, band, and choir.
We continue to support the social emotional needs of students through All Things EQ and our positive behavior interventions through CATS expectations (Constantly Caring, Always Respectful, Today’s Citizen and Safety First).
Our teachers continue to receive additional support through Project Momentum. This grant provides funding for teachers to have release time to collaborate together and with Gavilan Peak in professional learning communities (PLC) to sharpen their knowledge of the content and instructional practices.
As the principal, I support teachers using strategies from Breakthrough Coaching. There will be at least two days per week that I will be in classrooms all day to support student learning. On these days I will not be available in the office and may not return parent phone calls until the next day. I appreciate your understanding as these practices have shown to improve student achievement.
New River Elementary has remarkable students, the best staff, supportive families, and strong business partnerships which can only lead to a thriving outcome. I continue to commit to partner with everyone as we work together to prepare our kids for the future- “Today’s learners, tomorrow’s leaders!”
Dr. Tina Marone
Principal, New River Elementary School