Through local partnerships, the Ellwood Elementary School continues to provide academic support and educational opportunities for families and children.
Ellwood, at 6701 N. 13th St., is a K-5 school that provides students with education skills and tools that will help them reach their highest potential.
“Ellwood is a really good school,” said third-grader Nate White. “The teachers are staff support us. There are a lot of different things to do here. I’m learning something new every day. It’s just a great school.”
To help enhance students skills in literacy, Ellwood recently updated it school library. The goal is to have literacy prep classes in the new library next school year.
“Our library has been updated thanks to the help of KPMG,” said first-year principal Zaida Alfaro. “The Literacy for Life program has also donated books. We have new furniture that include tables, chairs, Chromebooks, and flexible seating for our scholars.
“While there are some teachers who are signing in and out of the library right now with some students, we’re currently not using the updated library space. Next year, we will be using the library with one of my prep teachers. It will be a literacy enhancement prep that will include some read-out-loud along with writing extensions.
“In addition to the upgrade in the library, The Chris Long Foundation recently came to our school and they gave every one of my scholars in grades K to 3 five new books and a school bag,” she added. “We will also getting a Fiesta playground by the Big Sandbox.”
Ellwood is excelling in both academics and climate. The school has remained the highest in Network 7 in attendance for this school year. The school is also expanding some of its classrooms due to the increase in student enrollment.
“We currently have have 56.8 of our scholars with 95 % attendance or higher,” Alfaro said. “Every month for this academic school year, the actual percentage has been higher than last year percentage. I attribute that to a new attendance incentive that has been put into place.
“Every child tallies their own attendance. At the end of every month, there is a specific attendance incentive that we identify. If the scholars earn their way in they can then go to one of the attendance incentives.
“For next year, we will be growing a kindergarten and first grade class,” she added. “We’re going from two kindergarten and first grade classes to three. The word is out on all of the great things Ellwood is doing and we’re seeing that in the increase in our enrollment. We’re extremely excited to expand next year and we will continue to provide all of scholar with the best opportunities both in and outside of the classroom.”
During the Tribune’s visit, students in Cody Hess’s third grade class was a reading a book about kindness.
“Mr. Hess is doing a read-a-long as well as a discussion on the book we’re reading about kindness,” said third-grader Heaven Campbell. “We do a lot of reading in our english classes. We also use centers a lot in my classroom. With the centers, we either do guided reading with our teacher, read independently at our desk or somewhere else in the classroom, or work on some of our writing assignments. What I like about Mr. Hess class is that we’re always learning something different. No day is the same in the classroom.”
Fifth-grader Shawn McLeod, whose favorite subject is math, said what he like about his class is that the blend of technology with the lesson plans.
“I like working with numbers, so math is my favorite subject,” Shawn said. “In my math class, most of the time we use our math books where we finish the pages that we haven’t done yet. We also have assigned lessons where we use the computer for programs like First in Math and Cool Math.
“First in Math has a bunch of math related games or problems,” he added. “Cool Math has different lessons, games, activities, and apps. We normally do those programs three times a week. I really like the fact the we use our math book and programs on the computer for my math class. I think it’s makes things more interesting, plus you also get a better understanding of everything that you’re learning.”