Elementary Education in Pinellas County Schools embodies:
The principal as the leader of the school and the teacher as the leader in the classroom where specific grade level academic, social and behavioral expectations and procedures are clearly defined and regularly communicated.
A culture of collegiality and professionalism where Professional Learning Communities at all levels work together to improve teaching strategies that will positively affect student achievement.
A cohesive, guaranteed, and viable curriculum where grade level curriculum maps of the essential learnings and common assessments in reading and mathematics are aligned to the Sunshine State Standards.
Challenging goals supported by data and feedback used continuously to shape and revise instructional strategies.
Research-based instructional strategies involving remediation and enrichment as keys to mastery of the material presented.
A safe and caring environment where teachers establish clear expectations for behavior and implement well-defined processes and procedures to ensure that students live up to these expectations. These processes and procedures will emphasize the importance of building relationships, developing self-discipline, and increasing student responsibility.
In addition, we know that in order for all students to be successful, three critical elements must be in place in all classrooms. These include:
An environment that is physically, emotionally, and intellectually safe, where students feel comfortable learning. This environment must include a balance of cooperation and governance between the teacher and student where the teacher is clearly identified as the leader in the class.
Students, teachers, administrators, and parents must have clearly defined instructional expectations. Student progress will be measured through the use of common assessments.
Instructional strategies must be implemented that produce success. The teacher and the instructional strategies selected (including intensive remediation strategies) have a profound effect upon student learning. The art of teaching is becoming the science of teaching.
In Pinellas County, much work has been done to assure the emotional, intellectual, and physical safety of students in our elementary schools.