Welcome to another great school year! So far we have been off to a quick start. We are very proud to introduce a few new owls to Old Orchard. This year we welcome Mr. Calderone, our new 5th grade teacher and Miss Swisher, our new 4th grade teacher. Mrs. Willamson also joins us for a 5th/6th grade combination class. Mrs. Stockl starts this year as our new librarian! So many great additions! Mrs. Gavin is also a familiar face that is returning to us this year. We are so happy to have her back.
We have so many wonderful things planned for this school year. As usual, we are always surrounded by our amazing parents on campus. Please feel free to volunteer or take part in our Old Orchard events. We are all one big family here!
Our students are also working hard! As of September 10th, we started i-Time, which is our intervention and enrichment block in grades 1 though 6. It is so important that we address the individual needs of our students and just as critical that our students GROW academically!
So we’re off to a great start and I look forward to more great things this year!
The OWL Mission:
Old Orchard staff
Works collaboratively to cultivate
Life-long learners whoooo
Soar to success!
Old Orchard Elementary School is located in the city of Santa Clarita, a suburban community thirty miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. It serves a population of 488 students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Four hundred fifty-six students are enrolled in general education classes. Thirty two (SDC 5) students are enrolled in SELPA Regional Special Day Classes for emotionally disturbed children. A Federal Head Start Preschool is housed on the school site.
Old Orchard serves a population that is diverse in culture, ethnicity, and socio-economic status. Thirty-three percent of the students are living within the state identified poverty level. The majority of these students receive daily bus transportation to and from school. Forty-one percent of the students are white, fifty-one percent Hispanic, two percent African American, and one percent Asian. Thirty-one percent of the students are English Language Learners. The assistant principal, who also serves as the director for the program for students with emotional disturbances, is on site five days a week. There are fifteen full-time general education teachers and two part-time general education teachers. There are also four special day class teachers staffed on site this year. There are fourteen special education instructional assistants working in these four classes and five instructional assistants working with special needs students in the general education classes.
One Old Orchard special education teacher is a first-year teacher. Veteran teachers assume leadership and mentoring roles for the staff. All teachers serve on site and district committees. There are four part-time special education teachers: RSP, Speech/Language(2) and Adaptive P.E.. A full-time school psychologist provides support for the four SDC 5 classes. Two psychologists are on site for a total of one and a half days per week to provide support services for the general education students receiving special education services (i.e. RSP, Speech and Language). Dynamic Interventions, a local service agency, provides social skills sessions that focus on improving students’ self-esteem and socialization skills. The three groups are led by a licensed educational psychologist. One group services lower grade students, and the remaining two service students in 3rd through 6th grade in general education and in the SDC 5 program. The groups meet between 45 – 60 minutes once a week for a total of 20 sessions for the school year.
All general education teachers are certified to work with English Language Learners. English Language Learners are assigned to all classes. There are six curriculum specialists who work with students in grades kindergarten through sixth grade. In grades 1 through 6, the curriculum specialists work with small groups for the grade level intervention/enrichment block named “I-Time.” Additionally, four of the curriculum specialists, along with classroom teachers, provide academic support classes which are held before school Monday through Thursday. These classes are referred to as “Owl Time.” The focus of instruction is based on grade level essential standards as determined by grade level teams. The remaining two curriculum specialists provide these services during the school day with 5th and 6th grade students. The standards are arranged by teaching cycles and assessed according to the cycles. The students receiving these services scored Far Below Basic, Below Basic, and Basic on 2011 STAR and NSD assessments. (See detailed description under Response to Intervention on page 50.)
Twenty-seven fourth, fifth, and sixth grade GATE students receive differentiated instruction from a credentialed teacher. This instruction is developed by the grade level team and individualized by each teacher, to address each student’s individual needs. Students are also able to attend enrichment opportunities during “I-Time,” depending on the student’s pre-assessment results.
Old Orchard Staff have committed to the implementation of a Professional Learning Community (PLC). Teachers have collaborated to create and revise a mission statement, vision, and beliefs all focused upon student learning. Each grade level team meets on Thursday afternoons, following the weekly Thursday minimum day dismissal. Special Day class teachers meet once a month in their respective programs. Grade level teams also meet with curriculum specialists every other week to communicate their role during upcoming I-Time sessions. During these Thursday afternoons teachers collaborate to develop Common Formative Assessments (CFAs), organize intervention/enrichment blocks based on these CFAs, revise pacing guides, develop curriculum, and share instructional strategies to further develop their instruction.
A positive, nurturing climate that promotes student learning is evident throughout the school. Parent volunteers assist in the classrooms on a daily basis performing a variety of instructional and clerical duties. Parents are also utilized in the school workroom to assure that workroom requests are completed. The school PTO continues to function as a strong advocate for children and teachers. Proceeds from annual fundraising activities support educational assemblies and programs, field trips, academic and social events, and school safety. The school library and the media technician provides a tremendous resource to support the instructional program for all students.