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Elementary School

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					South Fayette Elementary provides a unique and inviting place to learn for students in grades K-4. Our staff
provides a creative and exciting environment that makes high-level learning fun for all of our students. Parents
can obtain updates of activities in our school throughout the school year by visiting our website at www.south-
fayette.org/elem — you’ll find photos of recent events, class lists, program updates and much more!

Each school year begins with the Meet the Teacher event. The children have the opportunity to meet their new
teacher for the coming year, visit with old friends and perhaps meet a few new friends. Parents are welcomed
into our school and given a glimpse of what the year has in store. Our transportation department provides a
school bus for the students to tour to help alleviate the anxiety of riding a bus for the first time.

The Little Lions’ Academy takes place every summer at South Fayette, giving children one week of interest-
ing classes and unique opportunities to learn. Over 300 students took part in the Academy last summer in such
classes as photography, cooking for kids, introduction to soccer and scrapbooking. Each year the popularity of
this program continues to grow as more children hear of the fun they can have learning at South Fayette.

An important component for many of the programs in our school is the involvement of our parents. The Parent
Teacher Association (PTA) is an important partner in many of the activities we do each year. Each year, the PTA
sponsors many exciting activities for our families and students including Family Reading Night that features
a book swap, staff members reading books to the children and a puppet show. Last year, the children also took
part in the new “Artist in Residence” program provided through funding from the PTA. The purpose of the
program is to “place a knowledgeable, practicing, professional artist who is enthusiastic and motivated into a
setting where they can share their joy and benefits of the creative process for an extended period of time.” The
first visit was from Mrs. Tina Brewer, a fiber artist. She worked with 36 talented fourth grade students to create
fabric quilts around the theme of Pennsylvania. Mrs. Brewer also presented a teacher/parent workshop in April
and provided mini presentations to each class to share her love and talents of quilting. The finished products
                                                                         will be on display in the school foyer at
                                                                         the completion of construction.

                                                                        South Fayette Elementary also began
                                                                        the year with a new program called Arts
                                                                        Alive!, a new interdisciplinary perform-
                                                                        ing arts course for students in grades
                                                                        K-4. Arts Alive! combines curricula in
                                                                        music, creative movement and theater
                                                                        arts in a fun and exciting course that
                                                                        addresses the Pennsylvania Academic
                                                                        Standards for the Arts and Humanities.
                                                                        To achieve levels of excellence in the
                                                                        arts, it is imperative that students make
                                                                        connections and establish relationships
                                                                        across disciplines. The new Arts Alive!
                                                                         course is designed to enhance and inte-


Elementary School
grate presentation skills, performance skills, cultural awareness and appropriate body movements for presentation.
This course ties together the humanities and creates an interdisciplinary program for all students at the elementary
level.

Students attend Arts Alive! once a week throughout the school year. Activities being explored include creative
movement, theater pantomime and improvisation games, folk dancing, musical theater, stage directions, building a
character and storytelling.

Last school year also marked the start of a new reading initiative at South Fayette Elementary School. Our Reading
Specialists received intensive reading training from the Allegheny Intermediate Unit Reading Achievement Center
and the District focused staff development time on reading. Throughout the year, the Reading Specialists provided
forty minutes of intense reading instruction for Title I students on a daily basis. Students were instructed in word
building activities to help them develop decoding skills. Students practiced their decoding skills by reading decod-
able text to help them become fluent readers. Kindergarten and first grade teachers also incorporated word building
and phonemic awareness activities into their daily lessons. Students were assessed at both the beginning and end of
the school year and tremendous reading growth was achieved as a result of this initiative. Because of this great suc-
cess, the Reading Specialists will train the entire elementary building on these reading strategies to ensure that all of
our students become successful readers.

In June, the 4th grade held its First Annual Spelling Bee in which 33 students competed in the final phase of the
competition after weeks of preparation. Retired South Fayette Elementary teacher Mrs. Mary Lou Davis returned
to serve as moderator for the event. The winners were: Nick Chepkevich, 1st place; Max DiNicola, 2nd Place; and
Rachel Sherbondy, 3rd place. The finalists made it through over 12 rounds of spelling words. Interested 4th grade
students took a test to qualify for the Bee, with the top scoring students earning a place on stage for the final contest.
The students worked after school for several weeks studying and practicing oral spelling to prepare for the event.

South Fayette alumna Dr. Cindy Iannarelli and her Bizzmobile made a stop at South Fayette Elementary School on
May 18, 2005. The black and yellow Bizzmobile is a 35-foot mobile classroom designed to provide children with a
hands-on experience in three busi-
ness ventures. The concepts of the
Bizzmobile have been developed
by Iannarelli, an award winning
scholar, educator and public speaker.
The Bizzmobile introduced our 4th
graders to the concepts of money
management, economics, and careers
through various activities that day
including running a retail store, a
snack bar, and a computer-simulated
lemonade stand. The Elementary
PTA provided funding for each child
to have one dollar to spend at the
student-run stores.

				
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