Holland Elementary School
The weather is turning more seasonal - cold mornings and cool, sunny lunchtime recesses. While we have some very hot-blooded students, please encourage your child to wear a coat or sweatshirt to school each day. The wind on the playground can be brutal, despite sunny days.
We just completed our first round of parent-student-teacher conferences. It is a delight to see parents attend and participate in conversations about their children's learning. Please don't hesitate to ask for a conference with a teacher or me at any time.
We have ambitious goals for your students this year that include an increasing role for children to take ownership of their learning through goal setting, self-assessment, and reflection. Teachers are helping students to set goals in both academics and habits of work and learning. Students have opportunities to assess their own progress and establish next steps. Along the way, students are receiving feedback from teachers as well.
Our shift to project-based learning also encourages student ownership of learning. PBL is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge (Buck Institute for Education). PBL incorporates reflection, self-assessment, and peer critique/revision and projects often involve a culminating celebration of learning - sharing with the larger community and stakeholders.
We started our school year with a school-wide engineering unit on simple machines. Each class studied simple machines at their appropriate learning level and designed a simple machine to move something. In grades 4-6 students made catapults to launch an object and students in grades K-1 made machines to move Ms. Joanne's lazy dog Mia - actually a stuffed representation of Mia - while the 2nd and 3rd graders made machines to move a Lego person. The preschoolers did not make machines, but learned how to use them and what they are used for.
In addition to the science involved in this project, students identified and reflected upon transferable skills needed to work through tasks alone and with a group such as effective communication, teamwork, persistence in the face of trial and error, and problem solving.
Our small school is doing great work with your children. Please ask us questions at any time!
Apple Picking with Holland School's Preschoolers
Here the Holland preschoolers are picking apples at Mead Hill Farm in Holland. Apple picking is a timeless tradition for so many young students each fall.
Far right: After picking apples, the preschoolers enjoy a little R&R in the sun.
Holland Elementary School operates on the belief that all students have the right to learn in a caring, safe, and orderly environment. To promote this belief, home, school, and community will work together to enable all students to become responsible, respectful, lifelong learners.
Holland Elementary School (HES) provides educational opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital/civil union status, or any other characteristic protected by Federal or State law. HES provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.
For questions regarding this policy please contact: Leanne Desjardins 802-334-5847 ext. 2022 or Richard Smith 802-334-5847 ext. 2028