Mission Statement  

Mission Statement

The mission of the MSD of New Durham Township is to:

 

Inspire . . . Challenge . . . Educate

 

Vision Statement

The school community of Westville is a place where families choose to send their students.  Staff members are empowered to teach and all students and staff are accepted and celebrated.  Students are encouraged to become complex thinkers, caring individuals, and community contributors within a safe, well-maintained environment that is conducive to learning.

  About The School  

Overview of the Community and School

     Westville Elementary School is located in the small town of Westville in northwestern LaPorte County, centrally located between the larger cities of LaPorte, Michigan City, and Valparaiso. The school draws its student population from New Durham Township, which is composed of large areas of farmland, single-family homes, and three large mobile home parks. Based on the 2010 census the township has a population of approximately 8,664. The largest employers within the township are Westville Correctional Center, United Parcel Service, Kesling and Rocke Orthodontics, and Purdue University North Central.

     Westville Elementary School is the sole elementary school in the Metropolitan School District of New Durham Township with the Middle and High School facility connected to the elementary complex by an adjoining hallway. The present elementary complex has undergone five renovations and/or additions since being initially built in 1955. Over the last ten years the elementary has seen a steady increase in its student enrollment, which resulted in the most recent addition occurring in the year 2000. The current enrollment is approximately 450 students allowing for three sections of kindergarten through sixth grade classrooms. An all-day kindergarten program has been offered since the 1994-95 school year.


Educational Programming and the Learning Environment

All Day Kindergarten

     Since 1994, all students entering kindergarten have participated in Westville Elementary’s all-day kindergarten program. The purpose of this program is to educate the whole child, fostering the social, emotional, and academic needs of each individual student.

 

Differentiated Language Arts and Mathematic Instruction

     After classroom teachers provide language arts or mathematic academic standard and/or common core instruction to all of the students in their classroom, differentiated reading and mathematics groups are then used to provide flexible grouping of students with similar needs. The focus of these groups is to provide reading and mathematic instruction to groups of students with similar academic needs based upon assessment data.

 

Simple 6 Writing Instruction

      Simple 6 is an instructional writing program that is designed to improve student writing and simplify the understanding of how writing is assessed. This program details specific strategies for writing instruction and improvement. Teachers have received in-services explaining step-by-step strategies to use in their writing instruction. It is the goal of these strategies to enhance student understanding of the overall writing process and as a result increase ISTEP writing prompt test scores. These strategies include sticking to the topic, having a logical order, including interesting words, using different sentence patterns, creating descriptive sentences, and writing for a specific audience. Quarterly writing prompts are given at all grade levels and are scored using the Simple 6 rubric. Classroom teachers then use the data gained from these writing samples to develop Class Analysis Sheets. This information, along with the overall writing assessment scores, is then used to guide their writing instruction during the next nine weeks.

 

Connecting Learning Assures Successful Students (C.L.A.S.S.)

     In keeping with the C.L.A.S.S. mission, we are instructing our students with proven teaching strategies based upon brain research and curriculum that leads to responsible citizenship. Students, educators, and parents are working to create a sense of community that fosters respect, citizenship, and responsibility. Students are experiencing the joy of being contributors to their family, school, and community. Learning is meaningful and connected to real world experiences. Students, educators, and parents are becoming lifelong learners while helping the world become a better place and realizing that this is what it means to be educated.

 

Title One

     The Title I Program at Westville Elementary serves the lowest achieving students in the area of literacy. Students qualifying for Title I in kindergarten through third grade receive instruction in reading, writing, and phonics through needs based literacy groups. The Title 1 teachers implement Tier 3 instruction through small literacy groups, which focus on the specific learning needs of each child. Progress monitoring is implemented on a weekly basis for these students, which guides the strategic instruction. One Title 1 instructional assistant provide Tier 2 interventions using the Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention System. This research-based remediation program is designed to target the needs of the most struggling literacy learners. Tier 2 instruction and monthly progress monitoring is implemented under the guidance of the Title 1 teachers. Westville Elementary’s Title 1 Program strives to provide as much supplemental instruction to the students as possible so that they can achieve the same academic levels as an average peer.


High Ability Opportunities

      Currently the identification process used to identify our high ability students, is as follows: ISTEP+ (Pass Plus), teacher recommendation, InView Cognitive Test scores (second through sixth grade students), mCLASS testing data (Kdg. through 2nd grade) as well as Acuity testing and Star Reader Assessment data (3rd through 6th grade). Each teacher works to differentiate their instruction within their classroom using this data.

     Depending upon High Ability funding, additional enrichment opportunities provided to our identified High Ability students will include book clubs for third through sixth grade students, a Name That Book Competition for sixth grade students, a first through third grade enrichment program called “Brain Boosters”, and a Challenger Mission Science Enrichment program in 5th and 6th grade and an enriching language arts and mathematics through technology club.

 

Cross Grade Level Learning Buddies

     Cross Grade Level Learning Buddies provide students with a unique interactive learning experience. Intermediate teachers collaborate with primary teachers in an effort to provide students with an outlet to build responsibility, community, and leadership roles. We believe this strategy will make a positive impact on student behavioral and academic performance.

 

 FASTT Math

     A computerized math fact program called FASTT Math is also part of our daily first, second, and third grade math instruction. All first through third grade students go to our computer lab on a daily basis to complete this math fact instruction.   All other grade level teachers utilize this software within their own classrooms on an as needed basis for those students who need this additional math fact instruction.


Parental Participation in the School

          Westville Elementary School welcomes parent involvement as well as participation. The school has a Parent Teacher Organization with active parent participation. The Parent Teacher Organization acts as an ongoing support group serving as the sponsor of events in the school. Specific activities include:

·        Sponsorship of fund-raising activities to provide classroom supplies, fund grade level “Study Trips”, the purchase of playground equipment, computer software, and computer hardware

         Innisbrook gift wrap sales

         Box Tops for Education

         Campbell’s Labels for Education

·        A Back-to-School Grade Level Parent Information Meeting accompanied with a Classroom Open House is hosted by the teachers from each grade level

·        Student Hobby/Collector Showcase

·        A Family Learning Game Night

·        Student Art Exhibit

·        End of the School Year Fun Fair

·        Accelerated Reader Awards Night

 

Westville Elementary School welcomes parent involvement in other activities such as:

·        Volunteering to tutor students

·        Assisting teachers with clerical duties

·        Organizing classroom celebrations

·        Chaperoning study trips

·        Serving on textbook adoption committees

·        Assisting during School Picture Day

·        Volunteering to assist at various P.T.O. sponsored events


Safe and Disciplined Learning Environment

The school operates under the safe school plan adopted for the Metropolitan School District of New Durham Township. Elements of this program as stressed for the school include the following:

 

·        All staff members participate in an annual Emergency Management Guide review

·        All staff members are provided with an annual First Aid review by our school nurse

·        Restricted access into the school building is maintained – a main door buzzer system is in place

·        Visitors must report to the Elementary Office upon entry

·        Visitors must have a pre-arranged appointment

·        Visitors must sign in and wear an I.D. name tag

·        All staff members wear an I.D. name tag

·        Monthly fire drills are conducted

·        Severe Weather drills are conducted

·        Two-way radios are carried by teachers or instructional assistants during recess duty

·        Conflict resolution and anti-bullying strategies for students are provided by our Social Worker as well as HEA 1423 Bullying Legislation enacted

·        Code Blue and Code Red safety drills are conducted

·        An automated phone system (School Messenger) is used to notify parents in the case of a delay or early dismissal of school

·        Emergency Early Dismissal Procedure Forms are completed by parents to ensure safe and orderly dismissal of kindergarten through sixth grade students in case of an emergency dismissal

·        Video cameras installed in all buses and in the school’s cafeteria, various hallways, and also outside facing the main playground

·        Certified School Safety Specialist on staff per Indiana Code

 

Following the C.L.A.S.S. philosophy to provide a non-threatening learning environment, students and staff:

 ·       Practice Life Goals

·        Practice LIFELINES·        

·        Provide daily classroom agendas

·        Participate in classroom community circles

·        Follow classroom and school-wide procedures

·        Interact in attractive, comfortable, non-threatening settings