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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
DESI's technology goes beyond the common classroom. Starting in Kindergarten we have a 1:2 iPad initiative that continues through 1st grade. Beginning in 2nd grade and continuing through 5th grade, we have a 1:1 personal device program. All of our resources connect to the school's wireless internet access for the optimal use of technology in every classroom throughout the day. The DESI technology program also includes Touch Screen TVs in every grade level classroom. These go beyond the SMARTBoard technology by allowing multiple students to work on the collaborative work space at one time.
The character education program at DESI emphasizes Friendship, Integrity, Never give up, and Self control. It is fondly titled FINS Up! While it is integrated throughout our curriculum, students participate in class lessons (K-2nd) from our school counselor and small group lunch sessions (3rd-5th). These week long lunch sessions in 3rd-5th focus on the FINS Up principle's and end with a graduation and induction into our Dearington Diplomatic Core (DDC) where they then carry out student leadership roles throughout the day and for special events.