A LETTER FROM YOUR LOVING PRINCIPAL
Dear Friends of Sequoyah:
As the founding principal of Sequoyah Elementary (Est. 2006), it is my pleasure to welcome you to our school. Sequoyah Elementary is a kindergarten through fifth grade school with an enrollment of nearly 550 students.
As an educational team, we are dedicated to academic excellence. We are committed to creating a safe and positive learning environment, where staff and students promote and model responsible, respectful behavior. Sequoyah provides the necessary programs to help ALL students reach their greatest potential. We offer intervention programs to assist students in becoming proficient readers by third grade. 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. Each grade level receives 30 minutes (four days a week) of a research based reading intervention or enrichment based upon individual needs. To determine intervention or enrichment needs, students receive regular benchmark assessments to establish their level of skill and receive instruction that best meets their individual learning levels. We monitor students on a regular basis to ensure they are making adequate academic growth.
The foundation for creating a positive school environment and culture is our Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). Students are systematically provided instruction on our school-wide behavior expectations called the Thunderbird Three: Safety, Respect, and Responsibility. We place the focus on helping students understand what the Thunderbird Three “look-like” throughout their school day in key locations, such as, classrooms, cafeteria, hallway, playground, bus, and bathroom. Our staff works to teach, model, rehearse, reinforce, and praise students for appropriate behaviors. In other words, we recognize students with the correct behaviors to create a positive school culture. We know that when good behavior and teaching come together, our students excel in their learning as well.
The staff created a student recognition program called the Thunderbird Three Heroes. This program recognizes students who are role models for other students, make positive contributions to the school and consistently follow the Thunderbird Three. The list of Thunderbird Three Heroes is published in the bi-monthly newsletter and students’ pictures and biographies are displayed on a highly visible bulletin board as you enter the school. Students are also given a Thunderbird Three Heroes t-shirt and certificate.
Success in school is not just about reading, writing, and math. It is also about knowing how to learn and get along with others. We will be using the Second Step program in your child’s classroom to teach these critical social, emotional skills.
Our school social worker leads and facilitates the Second Step program for all K-5 students. Skills are taught and reinforced in the following four areas:
1. Skills for Learning: Students gain skills to help themselves learn, including how to focus their attention, listen carefully, self-talk to stay on task, and be assertive when asking for help with schoolwork.
2. Empathy: Students learn to identify and understand their own and others’ feelings. Students also learn how to take another perspective and how to show compassion.
3. Emotion Management: Students learn specific skills for calming down when experiencing strong feelings, such as anxiety or anger.
4. Problem Solving: Students learn a process for solving problems with others in a positive way.
Sequoyah recognizes that the world is changing around us daily and that technology is an integral part of that change, therefore, we strive to engage students with various means of technology. Classroom teachers use an interactive whiteboard, document camera, and one-to-one student computers for teaching daily lessons. These tools allow students to participate in the lesson through interactive activities.
We also have an outstanding, supportive Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). PTO assists with volunteers, party/event planning, financial support, field trips, assemblies, hosting community events, sponsoring a yearly author in residence, as well as stepping in anytime they see a need.
Sequoyah Elementary places great emphasis on academic excellence through our mission…Believe*Achieve*Succeed. BELIEVE in yourself, work hard to ACHIEVE your goals, and you will SUCCEED! All the initiatives support our vision for Sequoyah: We will help ALL students reach their social, emotional, and academic potential. Our mission and vision are why we exist at Sequoyah. Thank you joining us on this journey to excellence...Welcome to Sequoyah Elementary!
Ted Zotos, Ed.S.