Academics

At Slavens School we provide a rich academic experience that builds a foundation for every student to become a compassionate, ethical and productive global citizen.

Education Philosophy

Slavens is a school which lays the foundation for life-long learning and a school where children learn respect, responsibility, and human compassion. Slavens is a school where children enjoy a balanced approach to quality education with strong parental and community involvement.

Slavens uses two different classroom models. One is a “platoon” model. Instruction is divided by content, one grade-level teacher instructions literacy and the other grade-level teacher instructs math, science and social studies. Slavens also uses the stand-alone model with one grade level teacher in the classroom who teaches all subjects. Most grades utilize both models.

The teacher provides a high degree of structure for overall classroom management. In addition, students use self-directed instruction with the teacher as a facilitator to complement the learning process.

Knowledge and skills may be addressed through separate instructional units as well as integrated into a theme when it is relevant.

It is recognized there are diverse student needs both above and below grade-level. The teacher recognizes learning theory models (visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic) and considers learning differences in providing instruction. Teachers use various models including: direct whole group, ability grouping, enrichment, individualization and cooperative learning techniques as well as implementing innovative techniques that have been proven to enhance learning. We have a full commitment to use multiple resources to enhance and serve student needs.

Slavens strives for integration of technology in all academic and enrichment areas.

Factual knowledge is stressed but there is a focus on accessing information with creative applications and developing critical thinking skills. Slavens focuses the process of learning as well as the product.

Student’s social development and self-esteem are important and are an interrelated function of the school. It is important to our teachers to build a sense of classroom community. The classroom is the primary community at Slavens. The Slavens Code of Conduct is a basic guideline used to establish the rules and responsibilities of the class by the teacher and students at the beginning of the year.

Slavens strives to build a flexible classroom environment yet maintain the structure necessary to maximize student learning and enhance individual performance.

Methods for accessing and evaluating student progress may include a portfolio, teacher observations, descriptive narratives, formal assessments, student-directed assessments, standards based report cards and conferences with parents.

Slavens provides opportunities for students to participate in art, music, drama, dance, physical education, STEM and community service in order to address the development of the whole child.

Parents are encouraged to be active partners in their children’s education and school events by volunteering in the classroom or with PTA, FOSS, CSC and MSPA. For more information regarding these organizations please visit Get Involved

Special Curricular Programs

Art is taught as a discipline itself as well as being integrated into other subject areas. Integrated Arts education produces a foundation for a lifelong interest, involvement and appreciation of music, drama, dance and visual arts.

Band is a middle school elective where students learn to play their instrument of choice. Concerts are performed on occasion during non-school hours. The Slavens’ school band consists of woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. An extra-curricular elementary band program is offered in the mornings before school starts.

Integrated Arts is a combined music and art class where music concepts are taught alongside art concepts. Some of the instruction is intended to build a greater understanding of music and some is based on practicing and appreciating art but both of these subjects are integrated together into one class.

Dance education develops the knowledge and skills required to create, perform, and understand movement as a means of artistic communication. Students learn to read symbol systems, use critical thinking skills, excel in nonverbal reasoning and communication, exchange ideas, work cooperatively and collaboratively with others, and interact within a multicultural society. Students are exposed to dance history and cultures and develop kinesthetic and spatial learning as well as intra- and interpersonal knowledge of self and others.

Keyboarding is included in 3rd grade classroom instruction. In 4th and 5th grade it is included in their Technology class. Middle school students must pass a keyboarding test or take keyboarding in 6th grade.

Library Media Center (Library) is open to all students, teachers and parents every school day. Students may check-out one book for a two-week period. Students may also check out materials that support classroom projects. It is greatly appreciated when parents assist in prompt return of books. Lost books are charged the cost of replacement. Damaged books are assessed a fine.

Music Theater is offered to all K-5 students. Students learn about tone, rhythm, voice projection and more. Typically each grade level has one performance per school year during non-school hours. Middle school students may take this as an elective.

Physical Education (P.E.) is provided to elementary students each day and middle school students every other day. Students are expected to participate. A doctor’s statement of direction is necessary to design an alternative program if your student must be excluded or limited. To ensure enjoyment and safety of all students appropriate dress and footwear is required.

All elementary students have physical education each day. It is necessary for them to wear or bring athletic shoes to school each day to participate. Additionally is it suggested girls wear shorts or pants under skirts during P.E. . Middle school students purchase uniforms for P.E. and are responsible for cleaning their uniforms at home.

Spanish is a foreign language requirement for 7th grade and an elective in 8th grade.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where students use a wide range of applied technology in a project-based setting. Rigorous academic concepts are taught in a hands-on, engaging environment that emphasize 21st century skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving. Students develop an ePortfolio to document their project work and learning progress.

Technology is offered to all students in conjunction with their Library time. Middle school students may take Tech 1 and Tech 2 which provides instruction around specific programs (Word, Excel, Power Point, etc.).

Special Programs

Student Intervention Team (S.I.T.). This is a regular education process. Members of S.I.T. serve as resources to the classroom teacher. The group generates a menu of interventions to encourage the student’ s success in the classroom. S.I.T. meetings are NOT a pre-referral to special education. Parents are active participants in this process.

Special Education. An array of support is available to students at Slavens, including the school nurse, psychologist and social services. Special Education services are also available to students with special education needs or identified disabilities. Slavens has two Special Education teachers, a Speech/Language specialist and, as needed, an Occupational/Physical Therapist.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. 504 protects the civil and constitutional rights of persons with disabilities. If a team, including school personnel and parents, believe that due to a disability, as defined under section 504, a student needs either special accommodations or related services in order to participate in the in the general education school program. The school must develop and implement a plan for the delivery of all needed services.

Individualized Literacy Plan (I.L.P.). If a pupil’s Reading Readiness or Literacy and Comprehension, as measured by an assessment, are below the level established by the state board for pupils at that grade, the teacher shall formulate an Individual Literacy Plan for the pupil.

Gifted and Talented (G.T.). The Slavens Gifted and Talented program works with approximately 10% of the student population from 3rd through 8th grade. It follows the D.P.S. procedures in the identification of students. A half time coordinator is the head of the program and its testing policies.