Grasonville Elementary School
Grasonville Elementary School is located in Grasonville, a small rural community on the Eastern Shore in Queen Anne’s County. The school, which opened in 1995, houses pre-kindergarten through grade five with a total population of 502 students as of June 2016. The staff is comprised of 50 full time employees, 29 of whom are classroom teachers. The staff is dedicated to meeting the needs of the diverse population; they work collaboratively to accomplish this goal. As of June 2017 GES had approximately 29% Free and Reduced Meal Students, 25% Minorities, 13% Special Education and 10% of the students received ELL services. The diverse school population is drawn from Grasonville and Queenstown communities. We are fortunate enough to have active and supportive families from each of these communities.
This year Grasonville Elementary is proud to announce that we will again be Title I Schoolwide for the upcoming school year! In 2010 Grasonville Elementary School was honored as a National Title I Distinguished School for exceptional student performance for two or more consecutive years. An identified population of students receives tutoring in reading and/or math from 6 tutors, a Math Specialist and a Reading Specialist. An additional tutor primarily serves our at-risk Kindergarten students. In addition, we were able to fund three certified Title I teachers to provide Literacy for targeted students as well as additional math and reading tutoring. Student Achievement Meetings (S.A.M.) are held monthly to monitor interventions, student progress, and to recommend strategies for all Title I students in the academic areas of Math and Reading. Grasonville Elementary School is one of four Title I designated schools in Queen Anne’s County, that employs a Parent Coordinator. The Parent Coordinator assists parents in making the connection between home and school for their children. Due to this role, our parent involvement participation in events has increased significantly! An emphasis has been placed on assisting parents to become a strong advocate for students in the educational process. A parent’s vision, “The Little Free Library” was established in 2014 with the assistance of the community, the GES Parent Coordinator, and the GES Reading Specialist. Workshops, volunteering opportunities, and family activities are ways that families and the community are welcomed into this school. In addition, an interpreter is provided for our non-English speaking families. The Grasonville Elementary School PTA supports school activities and goals by providing opportunities for both parents and students. Parents have the opportunities to participate in school functions, and students are afforded the chance to attend educational, multicultural assemblies and field trips.
Success for All, a research based reading program, continues to be implemented in grades K-5 here at Grasonville Elementary. The program was initiated in the 1998-1999 school year. This multi-grade approach to reading has assured that all students are taught at their instructional level. Student data that’s acquired through our Reading program (SFA) is reviewed every trimester and the appropriate students are accelerated accordingly. Our teachers continue to align the Maryland College and Career Readiness Stnadards and SFA.
Teachers in grades PK-5 continue to utilize the MD College and Career Readiness-Standards in the areas of Math and ELA/Literacy and they continue to receive Professional Development in these areas. In the area of ELA/Literacy classroom teachers continue to receive professional development on the Six Shifts in ELA Literacy and Disciplinary Literacy. Teachers received professional development on Principles to Action, engaging strategies to problem solve, and Number Talks in the area of Math.
Environmental Literacy, a broad understanding of how people and societies relate to each other and to natural systems, is apart of the curriculum in grades 2-5. The second graders study Birding and build birdhouses. The third grade students participate in the Terrapin Educational Research Program; third graders cared for a baby terrapin throughout the school year and released it in June to it’s natural habit. Fourth grade students participate in the Chesapeake Bay Oyster Restoration Project and a select group of fourth and fifth graders participate in The G.R.A.C.I.E. Project (Grasonville Raises Awareness for Community Interaction with the Environment). The group of fourth and fifth graders meet every Tuesday and Thursday mornings prior to the school day. The goal of the group is to raise awareness on environmental issues that affect both our student body and our community. These endeavors enabled Grasonville Elementary School to be re-certified as a Green School with the State of Maryland, the only one on the Eastern Shore.
Students with special needs spend more than 80% of their school day within the regular classroom. The Special Education teachers provide interventions and serve as Literacy Teachers as well. Paraeducators assist classroom teachers and provide accommodations to students. All Special Education students have IEP’s that are developed to meet their specific needs and reviewed on an annual basis. We offer a variety of interventions that are assigned based solely on student needs.
Grasonville will begin its 14th year of implementing a positive school wide behavior program. The Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (P.B.I.S.) program, defines expected behaviors, teaches appropriate behaviors and acknowledges students when they exhibit the expected behavior. All staff members, throughout the school year, consistently use this program. Professional Development is ongoing and the team meets monthly with grade level representatives as well as having all other areas represented such as Special Educators, Paraprofessionals, and Specialists. Students are recognized in many different ways for exhibiting the expected behavior. Currently students are recognized with: Positive Behavior Referrals for exceeding expectations, puppy paws that can be cashed in for monthly incentives for following our code of conduct, the GRACIE award for being the class with the best attendance for that month, special ribbon awards for hallway and cafeteria behavior, and Specials Class of the Week for the best behaved class in Specials. The Hero Award is awarded to students that follow our bullying rules at GES. They are friends to everyone, stick up for those who are being bullied, and tell an adult if someone is being bullied. They also include others. One student from each grade level will be nominated for this award each month. Grade level teams will meet prior to each month's Student of the Month to choose a hero for that month. The Hero name is announced at Student of the Month and their picture is matted and hung in the GES Hero's Hall of Fame. Students that consistently go above and beyond on a daily basis are awarded the V.I.S.A. These students are role models. The V.I.S.A. allows the students automatic access to puppy paw events and serves as an “easy pass” at dismissal. Since the implementation of P.B.I.S, Grasonville has experienced a steady growth of positive recognitions, a significant decline in office referrals, and has been awarded the PBIS Maryland Gold Recognition for the past seven years. In addition to P.B.I.S, we implement the Character Counts Model, which is delivered through community and parent volunteers. Each class benefits from a weekly 15 minute lesson focusing on one of the six Pillars of Character: Fairness, Respect, Responsibility, Trust, Citizenship, and Caring. Grasonville is in the fifth year of implementing OLWEUS, a Bullying Prevention Program. It serves as a model for other elementary schools in the county. It is a research-based program designed to reduce incidences of bullying and educate students and teachers on all aspects of bullying.
In addition Grasonville Elementary School students have the opportunity to participate in the Chess Club, Chorus and the Fifth Grade Band. The Title I and Special Education students are afforded the opportunity to participate in Summer School in order to maintain and improve their skills. All parents have access to before and after school care if they sign their student up for Alphabest, a unique after school program model that combines a safe, supervised environment necessary for working parents with an expanded learning curriculum to assist schools to meet their goals. Partnering for Youth (P.F.Y), an extended day program, provides academic, enrichment and recreational activities directly after school dismissal for students. The two-hour program is funded by grants, contributions, fundraising activities and student enrollment fees. School staff and community members instruct.