“I will attend here.”
Jeremy Cook made these comments while his mother Sandy Taylor enrolled him and his brothers for the 2010-2011 term at Van Wert Elementary.
He is one of the 848 students attending classes at the school, built to house about 900 kids.
“We don’t have any empty classrooms,” said Principal Sherri Cox. “I know that is difficult to believe since more rooms were added when the facility was built.”
She said another Pre-K class has been added at the school, which will bring the total number to eight. About 160 4-year-old students were enrolled for this term.
“This is the largest grade level at our school,” Principal Cox said. “In Rockmart, all the Pre-K children come to Van Wert. Eastside does not have additional space for these classes.”
Cox said everyone is excited about making AYP during the first year at Van Wert. The good news was received in June.
This term, Success for All Reading, will continue at the school. SAR is a comprehensive approach to reading with its primary goal being success for all students. The curriculum is based on current research on the best ways to teach today's students how to read. It is guided by two main principles: students need to be successful the first time they are taught and schools need to organize all their resources to ensure this success. This program is for first through fifth graders. Students are placed in classes based on needs.
Parents can also enroll their child in tutoring before and after school. Due to the 160-day calendar teachers are working an extra hour, which will make more certified staff available to help students.
Cox said an academic pep rally will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 24 to emphasize the theme, “Catch the Wave”. The idea is to promote excitement about learning at Van Wert.
She said Van Wert also has an active and involved PTA, which supported the plan to place an outdoor classroom in 2009-2010. Phillip Hunt and Casey McGinnis kept the shrubs and plants watered during the summer.
Students in Kristie Hunt’s fifth grade gifted class initially launched the outdoor classroom. The project involved all grades and received community support, including Bill Byrne, landscape artist, and Keep Polk Beautiful.
This year, the PTA will be working to place a multi-purpose track on school grounds in conjunction with the physical education department. It will provide an area where Van Wert students can safely get needed exercise.
“Currently, we don’t have an outdoor space that we can use without blocking off the parking lot,” Cox said.
“The project will be expensive, but we believe we can reach this goal since we managed to place the outdoor classroom with the help of the PTA, Keep Polk Beautiful and others.”
New teachers at the school are Pamela Bodiford, Pre-K and Amber Hartley, music.