Basalt Elementary School is located in the Roaring Fork Valley, between Glenwood Springs and Aspen. There are approximately 700 students in grades preschool through 4th, and we are one big family. We are a Dual Language/Bilingual school which offers rich choice for our families and provides support in learning the English language for our native Spanish speakers. We are proud of our school's achievement on state assessments, in 2013 having our highest achievement scores ever and in 2012 and 2011 receiving the Colorado Governor's Distinguished Improvement Award for student growth. We continually update our programs based on current research and the performance of our students to make sure we are best meeting the needs of all. Teachers are organized into teams and work collaboratively to plan and meet students' needs. Students attend core classes: reading, writing, math, as well as SSHH in homeroom: science, social studies, handwriting, and health. They also have an enrichment class (Spanish, English, Reading or Math Learning Lab, Leadership, and Extended Learning) and specials classes (P.E., Music, Library, Computer, Art). Teams of teachers create relevant, hands-on experiences which require critical thinking to create new products for synthesis of learning. Our district vision statement is "Roaring Fork schools will ensure that every student develops the enduring knowledge, skills, and character to thrive in a changing world." Basalt Elementary meets this vision through four main teaching strategies. We are also implementing a social emotional code in the Fall of 2014.
The teaching strategies are:
1) Data Driven Instruction- Using information gathered from formative and summative assessment, teachers design lessons and programming to best meet students' needs on a daily basis. Small group instruction, centers, homework, and whole group instruction are taylored to information gleaned from classroom observations, classroom assessments, NWEA MAP tests, DIBELS and IDEL assessments, AddVantage Math, and Investigations assessments and activities.
2) Instructional Strategies and Active Engagement- Incorporating research-based practices highlighted in Classroom Instruction that Works by Robert Marzano, teachers plan lessons to best meet student needs. Active engagement strategies build student motivation and hold students accountable for every part of their learning. These include using popsicle sticks, cooperative learning, "turn and talk," acting out responses, and choral response, to name a few.
3) Implement Curriculum with Fidelity Based on Student Needs- Students' needs determine how curriculum is used to create the most effective learning opportunities. In the 2013-2014 school year, new curriculum was implemented for teaching reading, Benchmark Literacy, and writing, Lucy Calkins. Many teachers also implemented new interactive curriculum for social studies called TCI.
4) Advanced Opportunities for All- All students, no matter what level of learning at which they are currently performing, need to be given advanced models for work as well as advanced opportunities for performance. This is done with critical thinking activities, questioning strategies, rubrics and models of work, and differentiating for content, process, and product.
5) Gifted and Talented - http://www.rfschools.com/
The BESt Code for meeting social and emotional needs is:
Try our BEST!