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Letter from the Principal » Letter from the Principal

Letter from the Principal

Dear Visitor,

As the Principal, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to H.D.Berkey Elementary School. It is an honor for me to be a member of an experienced staff that works so hard to make sure that each student has an outstanding educational experience. We are deeply committed to ensure that H.D Berkey is a great “Place to Learn.” Each day students and teachers work hard to create a culture where learning is the top priority.

As an educational team, we at H.D. Berkey Elementary are dedicated to academic excellence and holding high expectations to ensure that each and every student will be a successful learner. We are committed to creating a safe and positive learning environment where staff and students promote and model responsible, respectful behavior in order to provide each student the best learning opportunity. We believe that if children are fluent readers at an early age, they will not only be successful in their learning, but also confident students throughout their academic years. Students receive whole class, small group, and individual instruction that focuses more in depth on the skill being taught to ensure that students understand and master the skills before moving on. Every grade level also receives a minimum of 90 minutes a day of research based reading instruction by highly qualified teachers.

In addition to the language arts instruction (reading/writing) our students also receive math, science and social sciences; technology is interwoven within subjects (iPads/laptops). The students also participate in art, music, library, and physical education. We provide special educational services, speech services and a Gifted and Talented program for those who qualify.

Our goal is to ensure that our Kindergarten to second grade students are strong in all of their basic foundational skills before moving onto upper elementary school. Having two (2) math specialist and four (4) reading specialist allows us to analyze the data and then reteach skills in smaller groups until we are sure students have mastered grade level appropriate skills. We provide this smaller groups instruction though the Response to Intervention (RtII) framework. We have been using the RtII framework at H.D. Berkey for approximately three (3) years to provide highly effective, research based learning strategies to all learners.

Along with academic excellence, H.D.Berkey Elementary is also committed to the social and emotional needs of our students. This year our school has implemented the PBIS (Positive Behaviors Interventions Support) framework to establish our school wide behavioral expectations. H.D. Berkey school wide expectations for all students are being safe, responsible, respectful, and ready to learn. I hope your child has told you these expectations (or can tell them to you). Students earn a Bee for being “Caught Bee-ing Good.” When a child earns a bee they will bring home an award saying they were “Caught Bee-ing Good.” Additionally students who are recognized for following the school wide expectations will be eligible to earn larger rewards at school. This has been a fun reward system for all of the students, even the staff seem to be enjoying the SWPBS. Additionally, we have done a lot of work at H.D. Berkey to encourage students, staff, and teachers to be kind and take a stand against bullying.

We want your child to have a wonderful first and second grade experience. Please partner with us in making sure your child grows, learns, and has a positive experience in school!!  I would encourage you to visit our school website throughout the year to stay informed regarding activities and resources that are available at H.D. Berkey Elementary. Additionally, you are always welcome to visit H.D. Berkey Elementary and find out in person about the educational opportunities that are being provided for our students.

Mrs. Nicole Bitar