Parsons School, nestled in the corner of beautiful Babbage Park, serves 650 students from Kindergarten through Grade 5. Our students come from every continent, from scores of different countries, and from every ethnic and religious group. Our students are also diverse in their needs, abilities and interests. We believe we derive the strength of our educational program from this diversity. We have developed programs to help insure the success of all of our students.
Our curriculum is aligned to the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. In math, we are implementing the Everyday Math Program, which, based on years of research, uses a hands-on experiential approach to help children understand mathematical concepts. Our language arts curriculum is a balanced one that addresses the processes of listening, speaking, reading, writing and viewing. An anthology with a rich selection of quality children’s literature is the hallmark of our reading program. Guided Reading is an important component of our early childhood literacy program. Writer’s Workshop is the foundation of our writing program.
We develop science literacy through an outcome-based curriculum, which provides a framework for standards-driven learning goals, and student centered instruction. In the social studies curriculum, younger children learn about their neighborhood and township. Our older children study New Jersey, the United States and other parts of the world. Students also learn the importance of being a loyal, patriotic citizen in a democratic society. Students attend a class in art and general music once a week. Physical Education is taught twice each week.
All of our subjects are supported by technology. We have a modern, state of the art computer lab and a full-time technology teacher. Networked computers are in every classroom. Students learn to use application programs, to use computer-assisted instruction, and to surf the net to find the resources they need.
Our Media Center has a significant collection of children’s literature and reference material. Each class visits the media center once a week to learn library and research skills and to borrow reading materials. Independent reading is encouraged with several incentive programs and book fairs. Our annual Author's Day generates excitement throughout the school when a published children's author or illustrator visits our school and meets with our youngsters.
While we take our instructional program very seriously, we recognize the importance of a well-rounded student. Accordingly we celebrate the seasons and holidays with assemblies and other special events. Students in third grade can learn to play a string instrument and perform in our orchestra. Students in fourth and fifth grade can choose to learn to play a band instrument and perform in our band or chorus that produce two major concerts each year. We have a Field Day each spring. Fifth graders attend a three-day overnight environmental program at Stokes State Park.
We have a program for Gifted and Talented students which offers challenging supplemental activities. Students having difficulty with academic subjects are supported by several innovative and effective intervention programs including ESL, Child Development and Basic Skills Instruction. A full-time counselor and a full time nurse help students and families develop strategies to deal with social, behavioral, emotional, health and academic issues. We also have programs for children with special needs, which is coordinated by our Child Study Team.
We are very proud of the parent component of our program. We have a very active PTA that raises funds to provide our students with enriching activities and experiences including field trips, assemblies, and classroom extras. They work tirelessly for our children sponsoring Family Fun Nights, Book Fairs, Holiday Gift Shops, Bake Sales and a School Store. Many parents volunteer in the school. Several of our teachers plan evening programs in which parents and children come to school for a series of workshops. These include Family Tools and Technology, Family Math, and Family Science that are very positive experiences for those who chose to participate.
At Parsons we recognize our responsibility to the community. Our students participate in events that raise money for needy causes and worthwhile community projects, including a food bank, the fire department and a shelter.
In summary, we are strengthened by our diversity, which we celebrate in everything we do. The public can be confident that we are working to meet the unique and varied needs of every child at Parsons School.