Dear Pearl Buck Families,
I want to officially welcome all of you to the 2012-2013 School Year! Summer has come and gone and now it is time to continue with the excellent traditions of Pearl S. Buck Elementary School, as well as to introduce exciting new programs and personnel. We are fresh off of a banner year of student performance and busy preparing for another amazing year. Over the summer break the school has been cleaned, the Gym and Cafeteria repainted, a new outdoor classroom has been created next to the playground, and six new SMART boards were brought into the classrooms. Our dedicated staff has been working hard to ensure a successful start of school on Wednesday, September 5, 2012.
This will be my fourth year as principal of Buck and I am thrilled to start another exciting year engaged in the educational and social/emotional growth of our students. The elementary school years are critical times of development for students and families alike, and I look forward to working with all of you once again to make this year successful. I am a lifelong educator who brings a firm commitment to students and families as well as a love of learning and problem solving. In addition, as most of you know, I love to use some of my “extra” energy to encourage extra-curricular activities with the students. This year we are embarking on a reading initiative- Buck 4 Books- which I hope will foster a culture of literacy making reading a visible, celebrated activity in each child’s life.
Some of the many programs that you will continue to see include our Balanced Literacy Program, which encompasses reading, writing, thinking, speaking and listening for all students. In grades K-2 we feature the SuperKids curriculum, and in grades 3-5 our students follow the Good Habits, Great Readers series. This year grades K-3 will be implementing the new Math in Focus approach (Singapore math program featuring visual representations and modeling strategies to solve complex problems; a consistent concrete-pictorial-abstract progression; and strong development of both conceptual understanding, place value, and computational fluency so that students understand “how” as well as “why” math works) while pilot teams in grades 4 and 5 will ready students for a full implementation next year. In addition, this year grades 2-5 will add a structured vocabulary piece (Sadlier) to the reading/writing core.
Our unofficial PSSA results showed that Buck had another excellent year.
· 88% of our students scored proficient or advanced on Reading PSSA (grade 3-5)
· 92% of our students scored proficient or advanced on Math PSSA (grades 3-5)
· 95% of our students scored proficient or advanced on Science PSSA (grade 4)
· 91% of our students scored proficient or advanced on Writing PSSA (grade 5)
This year at Pearl Buck, we will continue to encourage all children to embrace the core values of “respect, commitment, and achievement” in their daily choices and interactions. Our theme once again for the 2012-2013 school year is “Treat Others As You Would Like To Be Treated!” I believe that if we can truly live that message, all the little things will easily fall into place. Thanks again to our staff, parents, and students for making Pearl S. Buck Elementary School the most amazing place to learn and shine!