Dearington Elementary School for Innovation serves students from kindergarten through grade five. Our curriculum supports the Virginia Standards of Learning through a field of study that integrates language arts, reading, science, technology, research and art projects. Classroom teachers meet monthly with resource specialists to plan units and develop flexible schedules that allows small group instruction in both the regular classrooms, the resource rooms and the media center. In order to meet all of our students' needs and to challenge them to achieve, we assess and assign students to classrooms and programs that will best meet their individual needs regardless of their grade assignment. We, at DESI, share a common interest in our children and want what is in their best interests. Decisions concerning curriculum, programs, and projects are made collaboratively by consensus of the faculty.
Reading and Language Arts
A minimum of two uninterrupted hours a day is spent on the area of reading. Dearington uses Lynchburg City Schools' Standards of Learning Enabling Objectives alignment as the guideline for reading and language instruction. Scott-Foresman's "Celebrate Reading" series is the main resource used in the teaching of reading. Kindergarten through third grade also use the Plaid Phonic Series to teach phonic skills. Wilson Reading Systems is used to teach students with special needs. Paperback books are used to both remediate and accelerate, according to what is needed. Student reading levels are assessed with the S.T.A.R. (Standardized Test for Assessment of Reading) computerized testing program at least three times per year. Students in grades K-3 are also assessed using the PALS test. The Accelerated Reader program is also an important part of reading instruction. In A.R., students take computerized quizzes on books they have read, and accumulate points with the scores they earn. Students are awarded certificates and earn DESI Micros on the points they have accumulated. Search Accelerated Reader Books.
A minimum of one uninterrupted hour a day is spent on mathematics. Dearington uses Lynchburg City Schools' Standards of Learning Enabling Objectives alignment as the guideline for math instruction. Math is integrated into many other areas of the curriculum such as art, science, technology and media. Flexible scheduling allows classroom and resource teachers the opportunity to work with large and small groups of students. By using a manipulative-based math, we strive for student mastery of basic computational skills and student conceptual thinking and problem solving techniques.
Science is taught on a daily basis at Dearington. We use Lynchburg City Schools' Standards of Learning Enabling Objectives alignment as the guideline for science instruction. Science is taught in the classroom by grade-area teachers and also by a resource Science Specialist. The Science Standards of Learning are taught with many "hands-on" activities found in kits developed for each unit of study and lab experiences done in our fully equipped PRISM Science Lab. Fourth and fifth grade students throughout the Lynchburg city School System come to DESI to receive instruction from our Science Specialist.
Dearington use Lynchburg City Schools' Standards of Learning Enabling Objectives alignment as the guideline for social studies instruction. Resource specialists plan units and develop flexible schedules that allows small group instruction. Students are given many opportunities to demonstrate their learning through projects. Students enjoy teacher-developed Power Point presentations that present concepts and facts at each grade level.
DESI is committed to the idea that a foreign language enriches a student's school experience. Every student receives thirty minutes of Spanish instruction daily. This instruction is correlated with the regular curriculum. Teaching children the basics in two languages reinforces the skills in both languages. In doing so, it allows the students twice as much time and opportunity to master critical concepts. Our Spanish faculty includes one full-time teacher and one part-time Spanish teacher. PowerPoint Presentation to the Virginia School Board Association.
Projects form an integral part of the curriculum at DESI. Core subjects are reinforced through the use of hands-on art projects.
As one of two magnet schools in Lynchburg, Dearington has a great deal of technological equipment. The school has over 100 WindowsXP computers. Each classroom has at least one computer, a laser printer, a television, an overhead projector, and a VCR. Most classroom have an additional 2 student computer stations. There are three large-screen monitors on carts which are accessible to the faculty for classroom presentations. We have two large computer labs. Lab 1 has 25 computers, a black/white laser printer, a color laser printer, and a large screen monitor. Lab 2 has 23 computers, a black/white laser printer, a color laser printer and a large screen monitor All grades are able to schedule the computer labs on a flexible basis. All computers in our school have Internet connections. A full-time Instructional Technology Specialist assists teachers and students with technology competencies. There are four mobile projection units connected to computers and three mobile SmartBoards are available for classroom teachers to help integrate technology in the classroom grades K- 2. Through an 2006-20070 school initiative, classroom grades 3-5 will have permanent SmartBoards mounted in their classrooms. Teachers have the availability to use all software programs in the labs and in their classrooms. Technology is integrated into the curriculum with computer experiences designed to help students learn. The Media Center has an automated library catalog that students use to search for books and other media. DESI has the capability to produce and transmit live television. Fifth grade students produce a daily morning DESI News program.
A Character Education Program emphasizing kindness, honesty, respect, work ethic, self-discipline, and responsibility is integrated throughout the curriculum. A different character trait is highlighted each six weeks. Outstanding citizens are recognized each six weeks with a parent/student reception.
Our DESI Mundo program is a standards based program designed to strengthen students’ scores on the Virginia Standards of Learning tests. Our school is now a Micro Society school and all students are citizens with paying jobs. The student’s main job is that of a learner and as a learner he/she must complete daily jobs such as handing in homework, completing all classwork and more. Other jobs include classroom jobs, running our postal system, producing our morning news program, banking and many more. They are paid in "micros" for completing their work. The DESI Mundo program puts meaningful work into the experience of childhood. Teachers, students, parents, and community partners work together to build a functioning miniature society. They learn to run businesses, apply technology, develop government and social agencies, and create cultural and arts organizations.