The Hoosac Valley Elementary School is the district’s elementary school for Pre-Kindergarden through third grade. The building has been reconfigured in 2017, and currently hosts an enrollment of approximately 400 students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Meeting the academic, social, and emotional needs of students is the primary focus of the staff and administration. Academically the core curriculum in the elementary school in the district is based on both the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and on national standards in English, social studies, mathematics, science and the arts.
All students participate in art, music, library, and physical education each week. Throughout the school year, enrichment opportunities such as Explorers, Robotics, MakersSpace, Community Builders, theater, sports, and art classes are provided after school.
Hoosac Valley Elementary has optimally small classes of 20 or fewer students. All of our Pre-Kindergarten, and kindergarten classes have full-time paraprofessionals who assist in the classroom, at lunch, and during recess. Paraprofessionals also assist teachers in the first through third grade classes.
Hoosac Valley Academics
The 2017 MA Frameworks in English Language Arts are the basis of our instruction in Early Kindergarten through grade 3. Children learn to read, write, listen and speak at grade appropriate levels. The framework provides a rigorous and comprehensive program to meet the needs of elementary students as they learn to communicate.
The social studies curriculum at the elementary level consists of students learning about their own personal history, the history of their state, the history of their country, and finally about the world geographically. In the younger grades, students learn the continents and the major oceans of the world. They learn about their early heritage and their personal heritage by researching a country of their ancestry.
The 2017 MA Frameworks in Mathematics represent a significant shift from our previous standards and framework; these new standards are an improvement because of the focus, coherence, rigor, and clarity of the standards. The standards have clear connections within and across grades. They are organized into clusters that represent the progression of the big ideas of mathematics across several grades. The standards are designed to be extremely clear – to students, teachers and families – so that the depth of the mathematical concepts are fully explained. The new standards describe in detail the various aspects of skills and knowledge that must be addressed in order to master each standard.
The framework also promotes rigor through the Standards for Mathematical Practice – the proficiencies and ‘habits of mind’ such as abstract reasoning, modeling, precision, and perseverance. The Mathematical Practices articulate the type of rich thinking and deep expertise that needs to be woven into the teaching and learning of the content at all grade levels.
Science in our elementary schools is used as a vehicle to develop life-long learners with the skills and passion to investigate mysteries, solve problems, and use their knowledge and skills to help others and our planet. A life science unit, a physical science unit, and an earth science unit are taught at most grade levels each year. The inquiry process is used as much as possible. Students are given the opportunity to explore concepts through guided exploration rather than simply being told information. Children are more likely to remember and fully understand concepts that they are able to develop themselves. The understanding of how science inquiry is conducted and how it is used to understand the world around us prepares children for many of the challenges they will face in life.
Music: At the elementary level, the students enjoy weekly lessons in general music. There are also opportunities to take additional classes in chorus and to learn to play various instruments.
Physical Education: The focus in the K-3 Physical Education/Wellness Department is to teach children the importance of physical activity in everyday life. We stress the value of good sportsmanship, skill development, and social interaction with their peer group through game activities. At the end of each class, students are able to demonstrate an understanding of game rules and respect for their peers and teachers. We value hard work over winning and help students apply this philosophy to everyday school life.
Art: Students in Kindergarten through third grade participate in studio art classes as part of their regular curriculum. All of the art classes allow students the opportunity to use their hands to learn age appropriate techniques and processes, to practice observation, and to use their minds to solve visual and spatial problems.
Computers: Students will learn how to navigate on Chromebooks laptops. Students in Kindergarten through third grade participate will be working in programs to further their reading skills in Lexia, math skills in Symphony Math and exploring Typing Club and Learn to Type Free. Pre-Kindergarten will also have Lexia and Symphony Math in their educational learning/skill development.
Library: On a weekly basis students will come to the library to select a book of their choice. According to students grade level, they will be able to select a book that will fit their reading capabilities and to further their reading development. Students are monitored in their Reading Paths in their reading advancements.