ABOUT NATIONAL PARK ELEMENTARY
National Park School is a vibrant educational environment where teachers, students, families and community members work together to promote a love of learning. Composed of approximately 60 staff members and 300 students in PreKindergarten through Sixth Grade, the school is located in National Park, a small town along the Delaware River. Founded on rich history, National Park School is committed to excellence in education. We offer a full day program to all resident students starting at three years old. The staff is dedicated to providing students with meaningful, ongoing, relevant and engaging learning experiences.
At National Park School students will reach their maximum potential academically, physically, emotionally and socially. National Park students are 21st century learners, able to problem-solve and apply technology skills to process their own ideas. The students of National Park School will exhibit individual growth as indicated on standardized grade level assessments and classroom performance. Students will demonstrate personal responsibility by being prepared for class, treating others with respect, arriving on time with required materials, completing homework and actively participating in class discussions and activities. National Park students will be prepared for an ever-changing, global society.
The National Park School curriculum has been modeled after the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS). Our English Language Arts Program places an emphasis on reading, writing, speaking and listening experiences through an integrated instructional framework provided via the Benchmark Advanced program. Guided reading, shared reading and writer’s workshop characterize our literacy approach. Pearson’s enVisionMATH, our mathematics program, emphasizes real world application of mathematics as fundamental principles embedded in daily instruction from one academic year to another. In addition, we are proud to offer comprehensive science and social studies programs.
Through differentiated instruction, we strive to meet the individual academic and social needs of all students. Our school utilizes multiple performance measures to monitor student progress such as portfolios, journals, rubrics, project-based activities and authentic assessments, all aligned to the NJSLS. By way of leveled instruction, our teachers and support staff provide learning opportunities customized to meet each student’s needs. Students may qualify for GATE, our Gifted and Talented Program, or for Basic Skills, a program that provides extra support for struggling learners. We are dedicated to meeting the needs of each student at every level of academic progression.
Our full day PreK program is available to all resident three and four year old students. We utilize HighScope and the Preschool Implementation Guidelines to guide instruction at the preschool level. In a HighScope preschool program, teachers ignite children’s interest in learning by creating an environment that encourages them to explore learning materials and interact with adults and peers. We focus on supporting early learners as they make decisions, build academic skills, develop socially and emotionally, and become part of a classroom community. Active learning is at the center of the HighScope Curriculum. It’s the foundation of young children gaining knowledge through their natural play and interactions with the environment, events, and other people.
Fine Arts at their Finest
In addressing the needs of the whole child, National Park School offers a broad spectrum of programs that are designed to complement the learning experience.
Our Physical Education/Health Program emphasizes cooperation and offers students opportunities for collaboration and teamwork. Developing lifelong healthy behaviors in our children is the primary goal of our health program with a focus on the promotion of healthy eating habits and the importance of an active lifestyle.
Our Visual and Performing Arts areas afford our students with multiple opportunities to excel in the areas of STEM, Art and Music. Many students take part in instrumental music lessons and chorus which are offered to all students in fourth through sixth grades. Both the instrumental and vocal programs are exciting and integral parts of our daily instruction. General music classes are also provided to our students, providing them with an exposure to various forms of music.
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Students in preschool through sixth grade will participate in real-world, problem-based learning scenarios designed around the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Visual and Performing Arts, Technology, Math and Science. Instruction will also center around the New Jersey Career-Ready Practice Standards and Skills. In our quest to help our students become 21st century learners, STEM education provides students choice, ownership, and voice through authentic learning experiences. It not only promotes collaboration, but provides learners with unique experiences to interact with concepts that are personally meaningful, promoting greater understanding and engagement.
Art class develops the foundational understanding and skills in the visual arts. Students practice artistic activities that develop creative strategies, skills, and habits of mind. This work supports design literacy in the language of visual composition and expression. Students acquire procedural knowledge, skill, and craftsmanship through the art making process, develop understanding of the meaning and purpose of visual art, and explore our rich and diverse historical and cultural heritage through the study of visual art.
We continue to enhance our technological capabilities, both to improve instruction as well as to increase home-school communication. Designed to inform, our website allows users to easily retrieve time-sensitive information regarding school initiatives and locate important information about the district.
Families with students in grades three through six are provided with access to OnCourse Connect, an online system in which they are able to monitor their child’s academic progress. At National Park School we are committed to increasing use of technology to enhance academics as well as communication.
At National Park School we are dedicated to providing an education that prepares our students for life in the 21st century. This not only includes teaching students how to think critically, work collaboratively and be creative, we must also prepare our students by providing the tools to do so. We are fortunate that starting in kindergarten, students utilize a personal Google Chromebook each day. As more educational materials become available online, we are able to save on the cost of textbooks and workbooks while providing your child with a more effective, engaging learning experience.
PBSIS- Respect, Responsibility and Kindness - R2K It’s the National Park Way!
National Park School has partnered with the Positive Behavior Support in Schools (PBSIS) initiative to make National Park School an even more positive and warm place to be.
What does this mean for our school?
We clarify our schoolwide behavior expectations for students in all areas of the school starting on the first day!
We utilize an incentive program to recognize our students who meet or exceed our expectations.
We implement evidence-based positive, predictable, present, and engaging prevention practices in all of our learning spaces, with the support of our classroom teachers and support staff, to encourage all students to succeed.
We demonstrate consistency in all areas of the building to ensure all staff and students know what happens if someone chooses not to engage in positive schoolwide behavior expectations, with the goal of empowering future success.
Our teachers focus on mini-lessons at the beginning of every school year in order to teach the expectations at the different locations throughout our school. Expectation posters are placed around the school to remind students of our school-wide expectations by using common language. In addition, each trimester we focus on one of the three character traits named in our motto- Respect, Responsibility, and Kindness.
When students demonstrate the character traits of respect, responsibility, or kindness and follow schoolwide expectations, they have the opportunity to earn Way to Be Points. Way to Be Points can be used to purchase items from our school store The Parkway Pitstop. Students are given a variety of options, including cool pens, sports equipment, a free PJ day, and lunch with a teacher. Points can also be used to purchase a monthly raffle ticket for a special event for the entire class. Points are given through our online tool PBIS Rewards. Students are able to track their points and shop for prizes through their personal accounts.
A Family Affair
The most important relationships in a child’s life begin with the family. At National Park School, we rely on the support of our families to partner with our staff in promoting the importance of education. From parent-teacher conferences, to concerts and special programs that are offered in our school, family participation is extremely important to us and vital to student success. Many family members regularly volunteer their time to assist in creating a positive school environment. One of our continuing goals is to enhance our communication links between the school and families in order to increase student success.
National Park School benefits from an active Home and School Association (HASA). Composed of many dedicated volunteers, HASA is committed to providing students with opportunities for social engagement as well as dedicating extensive energy to fundraising for school needs. HASA has contributed a substantial portion of funds to provide our students with educational field trips in and around the Garden State. We are grateful for such an involved number of families!
National Park School is an exceptional educational environment thanks to its devoted staff and families. We take great pride in creating a safe and secure atmosphere in which students will thrive socially and academically. We are dedicated to providing students with educational experiences that enable them to develop into productive citizens.