New faces, new technology welcomes students in Burr Ridge
Teacher Jason Jezuit poses for a photograph with Jaden Johnson outside Elm School before the first day in Burr Ridge. | Rob Hart~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 29, 2012 1:58AM
BURR RIDGE — For 65 children, the first day of class at Elm School was about much more than a new teacher and a new classroom.
Twenty-eight students moved into the Elm School neighborhood over the summer and 37 more started out this school year as kindergartners, Principal Jeana Considine said.
“We have quite a few new families. We’re happy about that,” she said.
Those families, as well as those returning to the school, got a chance to meet one another and to talk about the year ahead during the school’s annual back-to-school ice cream social on Friday.
“That’s an exciting kickoff,” Considine said.
Teachers at Elm started their school year a few days before their students.
“A lot of planning took place,” Considine said, including two days of instruction toward implementation of the common core curriculum. Schools will be assessed according to common core standards beginning in 2014-15.
The school’s new writing curriculum takes a step toward that new, mandated curriculum.
“There will be more of a focus on writing this year,” Considine said.
Some of that writing will involve a pencil and paper, but some will be done using technology. That’s especially true for the school’s fifth-graders, each of whom will receive an iPad on which to do their work this year.
“This is the second year for the program,” which was a success last year, Considine said.
The lessons at Elm School this year will go beyond reading, writing and arithmetic to include what educators have come to call social-emotional curriculum.
“Our theme for this year is perseverance,” Considine said.
Throughout the year, students at Elm School will learn about the importance of working toward their goals and never giving up.
“It’s a message we’ll be taking into the classrooms,” Considine said.
Social worker Kathleen Jirasek said this year’s theme will teach skills that are directly applicable to the classroom.
“Perseverance makes them more resilient, more successful students,” Jirasek said.
At the core of perseverance is a positive attitude, which Jirasek said will be modeled by the teachers at Elm.
“It’s all education,” she said. “It’s about never giving up.”