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Dear Wilcox Families,
At Wilcox Primary School, the district's youngest Tigers begin their educational journey. Our school houses over 700 preschool, kindergarten, and first grade students. Our young learners focus on developing good citizenship, foundational math and literacy skills, social emotional competencies, and using digital content as a supportive educational tool to do basic research, collaborate with peers, and solve real world problems at their developmental level. We like to say that "Wilcox Rocks!" because we have fun while learning each and every day.
Here are some amazing things happening at our school:
- Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports or PBIS: PBIS is a broad range of systemic and individualized strategies that help children learn to become good citizens. At Wilcox students will learn to Be Responsible, Be Respectful, Be Caring, and Be Safe across all environments. Character intervention takes place through direct instruction, modeling, and practice in the classroom, halls, cafeteria, and playground. Additional guidance and literature-based lessons will reinforce positive character traits throughout the school year. Every morning during the announcements children recite the Wilcox Pledge:
Today is a new day. It is my job to do my best work. I promise to be responsible, be respectful, be
caring, and be safe.
- Safety and Security: As a parent, I need to know my child is safe and well-cared for before I can concentrate on her academic growth. At Wilcox, we take the safety of our students, staff, and guests seriously. We have an excellent relationship with the Twinsburg Police Department and officers make frequent visits to our school. We meet all State requirements for fire, tornado, and lockdown drills and handle these drills in an age-appropriate manner so students learn to be prepared in the event of an emergency. Although COVID has limited visitors and volunteers within our school building, guests can only gain entrance inside after stopping at the Welcome Center and entering their background information into our Lobbyguard system.
- Balanced Literacy: Language and literacy development are a major focus at the primary level. Students progress through learning letters, sounds, forming works, decoding for reading and written expression, and reading fiction and non-fiction text for meaning. Although third grade may seem far off, it is important to know that we set academic goals for our kindergarten and first grade students that will set them on the right path to meet the rigorous expectations of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. All Wilcox students receive high quality, balanced literacy instruction through small group guided reading, Fundations (phonics), and Heggerty (phonemic awareness) lessons.
- Mathematics and Problem Solving: Young learners need to develop number sense that goes beyond naming numbers to recognizing quantities, adding and subtracting using different methods, measuring, and interpreting simple charts and graphs. Teachers utilize the Go Math series for our core mathematics instruction, supplementing with "HOT" (higher order thinking) problems to help students think critically about real life problems.
- Step Up to Quality: Our award-winning preschool includes both an Integrated Preschool Program (IPP) for students with disabilities and selected peer models and our Kindergarten Preparatory Program (KPP) for students in the year before they enter kindergarten. Wilcox Primary Preschool has received a 5-Star rating on the State's Step Up To Quality system that sets benchmark standards in things like class size, student to teacher ratio, higher level education of staff, specialized training, and a challenging curriculum.
- Digital Content: Several years ago a first grader told me, "Steve Jobs put the internet in our pockets." Students today need to have a comfort level with technology for their academics and daily lives. The Twinsburg City School District has recently supported a 1:1 Chromebook initiative that has allowed Wilcox students have access to technology at school and home. Teachers utilize Chromebooks with students for practice, research, written expression, and remediation and enrichment. All teachers have active Google Classrooms and many use Seesaw as a method for students to complete and share their work in digital portfolios. Additionally, we have Smart Boards in every classroom, tablets such as iPads and Kindles, and listening centers. All students are required to have headphones to use for classroom technology use and online testing.
As a primary school educator and a mother, I know that primary school can bring some nervous energy to your child and your home. The teachers and support staff at Wilcox are veterans at welcoming and nurturing our community's youngest learners. With your support and assistance, we will help your children grow and develop to their fullest potential while they are here at Wilcox.
The goals the Wilcox staff have developed will allow teachers to assist every student, every day as they take the next step in their social, emotional, and academic development. You will see that at Wilcox:
The primary grades are a time for experimentation and building strong foundations. We expect that your children will do both of these things many times while they are in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade at our school. Please talk to your child about his or her day. Ask specific questions. Encourage them to try their best every day. Give them a hug and a kiss as you say goodbye in the morning and again when you see them later in the day. If you want to know more about your child's day at Wilcox, his/her teacher is a fantastic resource about what the children are learning.
Don't hesitate to call or email as soon as you develop a concern. Not only are we here to nurture and educate your children, it is also our role to offer support to our students' parents. A strong parent-teacher partnership will reinforce the educational process for everyone.
I look forward to meeting many of you during our parent orientations, at PTA meetings, and at the upcoming Wilcox events.