Friday, April 8, 2011

The Englewood Schools Tour: 1st Stop Donald A. Quarles Early Childhood Center

We rode on what the kids call the “yellow cheese” bus. I was encouraged by the fact that the seats have belts. Our first visit was Quarles School. It houses pre K and Kindergarten.
Magalye Matos, PTO leader at Quarles believes in Putting Kids & Family & Community First. She was the first to welcome my neighbor and I when the board meeting was hosted at Quarles in March. She is shown at left listening intently as a parent explains her concerns. The Englewood Teacher's Association (ETA) gave parents and teachers a rare opportunity to break bread and communicate with Dr. Carlisle and other members of the community.  2 of the Current candidates for the board of education were also in attendance. Thank you Galilee Methodist Church for sharing your facilities on Tuesday, April 5. It is significant to note that when you click on Quarles PTO under the category of staff it comes up empty indicating only staff. Do we need a PIE award over here guys?
I have never understood the concept behind the planning of an Elementary School with outside access from each classroom. The PTO has optimistic plans for creating a garden with the children. Perhaps the desire to grow something may be turned into an infectious  positive that will contaminate other schools within the district.  The very act of gardening provides students the opportunity to work and learn about nature together. Participation in outside exercise  while creating a product in nature is priceless. Have fun bonding and gardening with the children at Quarles.

We visited a few classrooms at Quarles. One lesson followed a visit from the Englewood Volunteer Fire Department. It was impressive. The students were genuinely involved. It was apparent that the children had experienced a memorable visit with our Firemen. Marsha Howard is the Site Manager or Principal. She seems to be  knowledgeable and capable of accomplishing the mission and objectives of her school. She always wears a smile and responds with a greeting that I think is genuine.  The Quarles visit was a pleasant experience. I am disappointed when I visit the website for Quarles, because I expect to see her smiling face after the page loads. Her name should be required  somewhere on the schools homepage. Put the Superintendent's face in a small widget to the right with the others that update events on the page. Allow the website to reflect the people who work there. We should learn something about them when we visit. The goals, objectives and events on this page should be specific to Quarles school.

We expect to see repetition of the District Mission Statement on all sites, but we go to this individiual site, becase we  want to know about Quarles. We want to see faces that work with the  children at Quarles. A phone call alleviated some safety concerns and confirmed that there are indeed 2 security guards patrolling the campus of Quarles Early Childhood Center.
The following mission and vision statements appear on the schools's homepage.
Mission Statement
Every child will reach his/her full academic, social and emotional potential in an atmosphere of collaboration, mutual respect and trust.
Vision StatementTo accomplish our mission we will:Provide a challenging curriculum

Deliver effective instruction based on high expectations
Use assessments to plan instruction and evaluate student performance and growth
Actively engage families and community
Establish and maintain a safe and orderly environment
Reflect on our practices and work collaboratively to improve student learning and achievement

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