Principal's Page

July 2017

Welcome to Dutch Creek Elementary! 

We are a school that strongly believes in meeting the needs of every student.  Our staff members believe in collaboration and teamwork to honor each student and their learning process.  Our goal is to challenge each student academically and help them become great people who discover how to effectively use communication, collaboration, and motivation to improve and grow. 

This Fall we will be evaluating and redesigning literacy instruction.  Up to this point we have used Scott Foresman Reading Street as a systemic resource to support literacy instruction.  Our staff believes in the benefits of systemic instruction so the learning from one grade level builds consecutively on the next.  Instruction is presented in a similar manner for all content areas, which helps our students transition from one grade level to the next.

This year our staff learned about the importance of concept-based instruction.  Diving deeply into concepts with each other helps students develop understanding that they will remember.  Working with others helps students understand the ways others think about and process information.  A variety of ways that concepts are understood by students is encouraged and honored.

We use Math Expressions as our primary resource for Mathematics instruction.  Our teachers are accustomed to supplementing as needed.  Math instruction typically follows a workshop model, which allows teachers to address any misconceptions to ensure accurate understanding of mathematical concepts.  Teachers encourage students to make connection between concepts, such as what addition and multiplication have in common.

Instruction across content areas is frequently altered and differentiated, based on how students respond to information – sometimes adjustments occur mid-lesson.  Teachers are encouraged to be creative and resourceful in terms of their pacing, projects, use of technology, and collaboration between students to accomplish learning.  Teachers enjoy the freedom to use Common Core State Standards as the foundation, but then determine creative paths to help students develop understanding.

Positive Behavior Supports is also being revamped/revitalized as we are looking for some new resources to help our school.  Our staff believes in creating high-quality instruction, giving their best effort every day, and taking risks to learn new information and always improve.  We believe that making mistakes, listening, and reflecting helps each of us learn and grow.  We expect the same in our students.

Dutch Creek is proud to be a Healthy School.  Our staff offers multiple movement breaks throughout the day to all students.  Additionally, we maintain routines and tools to help certain students focus in class.  Some students access more frequent movement breaks as needed.  Last year we added five minutes to lunch and recess for kindergarten through sixth grade, which helped our students focus on learning.  Adding more time for lunch and recess was part of our Healthy Schools initiative.  We are excited to continue to improve our school next year.

We believe in partnership with families.  Our school embraces all families.  Families are the expert in terms of knowing their student.  We strive to form and maintain collaborative partnerships with all families to meet the needs of their child.  Our staff members are responsive to a variety of communication styles and recognize the busy nature of families, as a result we are flexible and responsive.

Students frequently express that they love Dutch Creek, feel safe and cared for here, and honored as individuals.  Student say Dutch Creek is their home.  We are thrilled to continue our growth and improvement process next year!

Welcome to a wonderful school and community!



Jennifer J. Pennell, Principal 

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