Recently I had the opportunity to attend an exciting and creative assembly at Santa Cruz Gardens Elementary School. The purpose was to instill in the student audience a clear idea of the norms and expectations for future assemblies. Watching the enthusiasm and engagement between staff members and students was fantastic. I was most impressed by the creativity of this assembly which was organized and designed by staff members at Santa Cruz Gardens.
Special recognition goes out to Brian Boyce, who orchestrated the event, with the help of Sarah Lipson, Ethan Ducker, Carlo Albano, Jen Field, Aubrey Muirhead and Principal Kerry le Roux. These talented individuals generated an engaging and exciting assembly that allowed students to embrace their entire student body and, at the same time, model positive behaviors for upcoming assemblies at their school.
The sing-alongs and humor that was used throughout this assembly clearly validated the nurturing environment that exists among students at Santa Cruz Gardens Elementary School. The students were wowed by the singing and musical talent demonstrated by each of the staff members at their school during this forty-minute assembly.
Finding unique ways to encourage positive audience participation was cleverly demonstrated by the Santa Cruz Gardens staff. I am looking forward to attending future assemblies and observing the interaction of student and staff members at the Gardens.
English Learners Program
Santa Cruz Garden’s staff members are highly successful in the reclassification of our limited English speakers. Their comprehensive approach in providing these students with various opportunities to gain the necessary skills to improve their English speaking ability is to be commended.
In addition, our student reports from the Imagine Learning English Language Development program validate the significant growth of our English Learners at Santa Cruz Gardens. We are extremely pleased to have numerous methods of measuring the growth of our English Learners and to be able to redesignate these limited English speaking students by the end of the school year. We plan to expand the usage of the Imagine Learning program which will allow our limited English speaking students access to this software 24/7.
We are exploring additional options that will extend the school day and school year for these limited English speaking students. It is our goal to provide the instructional program that will enable these students to gain the necessary English skills in order to be able to access grade level curriculum. The staff at Santa Cruz Gardens is to be commended for their collaborative approach and for the implementation of a quality English Learner instructional program.
Inclusion & Interaction
Another unique aspect of the talented staff at Santa Cruz Gardens lies in the area of inclusion. We have created an inclusion program that allows all students to seamlessly interact with each other in a regular classroom setting. The inclusion strategies are truly a model of highly professional educators working collaboratively together to meet a wide spectrum of needs for our children. The success of the inclusion philosophy at Santa Cruz Gardens is a direct correlation of the staff’s ability to infuse a nurturing environment for all students that is second to none. It is without question that the inclusion model does require extended interactions with staff members, counselors and a behaviorist. The entire staff at Santa Cruz Gardens Elementary School is to be commented for their ability to work together and for creating a model program.
The Santa Cruz Gardens teachers also welcome opportunities to enrich their core academic program through participation in a number of exciting events outside of the school day that seek to give students “real world” experiences. Besides a rich selection of science-related field trips for T-K through 5th grade that encompass destinations like the UCSC Life Lab and the seafaring O’Neill Sea Odyssey, students take part in the Countywide Science and Engineering Fair hosted each year by the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, where they can showcase their inquiring minds and ability to solve problems through the scientific method.
Other enriching County Office offerings that students get to take part in each year are the Spelling Bee, the Math Contest, the Young Author’s Fair, and this year we will be sending our fifth grade class to participate in Mock Trial, involving a trip to the Santa Cruz County courthouse, and allowing students to practice various roles within the court system in a fun, dramatic trial event.
It is without question that the 2015 – 2016, school year will continue to be an exciting learning environment for all the students at Santa Cruz Gardens.