What is Roosevelt’s educational philosophy?
In 2009, Roosevelt adopted Project Based Learning (PBL) which teaches students to develop critical thinking skills and work in collaborative groups towards a goal – usually a group project that is presented to the rest of the class. This allows students to have a more in-depth and longer lasting understanding of a subject.
Roosevelt’s K-8 PBL program has an emphasis on Social Studies and Science. For more information, look at our Project Based Learning FAQ page.
Will my child be challenged?
Absolutely! In addition to the differentiated instruction that is built in to a PBL program, Roosevelt has many more opportunities for differentiated instruction. In Language Arts, the students are grouped by their reading levels. Starting in Kindergarten, students that are advanced will be put with other advanced students. Likewise, students that are at grade level will be put with other students at grade level and those students that are not proficient will be grouped together as well. Our computer based Math program named Jiji is self directed and allows for those students that have mastered a level to move up to more challenging levels. In addition, the Accelerated Reader program utilized by our librarian makes sure that the students are reading books that are at the appropriate level for their reading ability.
Why are there two different start and dismissal times listed for Kindergarten?
By offering an Early Bird / Later Gator schedule, there are only fifteen students per class during the first and last hour of each day. This gives Roosevelt’s Kindergarten team the ability to give each child the attention he or she needs. Roosevelt’s Kindergarten team won the 2009 Kent Award and the 2012 SMCRA Literacy Award for their Targeted Instruction Literacy Program.
For more information about our wonderful Kindergarten program, check out the webpage of one of our Kindergarten teachers – Jennifer Torres’ Kindergarten page on Roosevelt’s website.
What is MAZE Day?
In mid-August, parents receive all of the school paperwork in the mail (school lunch program forms, PTA forms, volunteering information, etc.). You need to fill out all of your forms before MAZE Day. There are two days scheduled for MAZE Day the week before school starts. Parents only need to attend one, and all Roosevelt parents, not just Kinder and new families, must attend. MAZE Day is held in the school cafeteria. Once you’ve turned in your completed forms, you will receive your child’s teacher/class assignment and school supply list.
If you can’t attend a scheduled MAZE Day, you can bring your paperwork into the office in the days before the start of school, or in the morning before the first day of school.
Do Roosevelt students wear uniforms?
Yes! No more arguments in the morning about what to wear or searching for a favorite shirt that is still in the laundry!
In 2010, the parents voted for a uniform dress code. Students in grades TK-5 must wear khaki or navy pants, skirts or shorts and a navy or white collared shirt (ie polo shirt). Students in grades 6-8 must wear black, khaki, or navy pants, skirts or shorts and a navy or white collared shirt (ie polo shirt). All students may wear a school spirit t-shirt or sweatshirt instead of a collared shirt. In the colder months, if children need layers to be worn in the classroom, our Roosevelt sweatshirts are permitted along with navy or white jackets and sweaters (students in grades 6-8 may also wear black sweaters or jackets).
The cost of uniforms is minimal since it’s a basic color combination and uniform separates can be found almost anywhere – Target, Old Navy, Kohl’s, Lands’ End, etc.
How does Roosevelt encourage and monitor students’ progress toward meeting grade-level standards?
Students take benchmark tests three times per year to monitor their progress towards grade level proficiency. Roosevelt is also very fortunate to have the support of Peninsula Interfaith Action (PIA) volunteers and Avenidas tutors to help give students one-on-one or small group tutoring.
Students who are close to proficient, or are slipping a bit on the CST, are invited to attend Saturday Academy. These classes are to give students the extra support they need to be on grade level and proficient on the CST.
What kinds of library resources are available to students?
Thanks to the hard work of librarian Paulette Elliott, Roosevelt’s library uses Accelerated Reader. Students in grades 2-7 take a computer-based test at the beginning of the school year to determine their reading level. (Some first graders start using Accelerated Reader later in the year.) Once that level is determined, each student is assigned a color coded section of the library. All of the books in that section are an appropriate reading level for that student. The student must read three books at that level and pass a comprehension test on the computer before being moved up to the next level. Our librarian also assigns an individualized reading goal for each student and each library book is assigned a number of points. This system assures that all of a student’s reading is tracked. In addition to all the classroom computers, students have access to Accelerated Reader in our two computer labs. This is a school-wide reading software supplement. This way, students do not have to wait until their assigned library day to take one of the tests.
Does Roosevelt offer regular P.E.?
Yes! With a grant from the Sequoia Healthcare District’s Healthy Schools Initiative, coaches from Peninsula Community Center (PCC) are able to offer a P.E. program to all Roosevelt students twice a week. The coaches also help with organized games during lunch recess.
How is technology used to support teaching and learning at Roosevelt?
In addition to Accelerated Reader, Roosevelt also uses a math program called Jiji Math. Students in grades K – 5 attend the computer lab two times per week for 45 minutes to work on Jiji Math. Students in grades 6-8 that need additional support also use Jiji Math. Jiji Math is a computer program that is self directed so that the students can learn at their own pace. Jiji is the name of the cartoon penguin that guides the students through multi-level math concepts. Once a concept is mastered, the student moves on to the next mathematical concept. There are also challenge levels for students that progress more easily through the levels. The teachers receive reports to map the progress of each student and can see when a student may need more help. Jiji Math is also available at home for students that wish to practice their problem solving after school.
The computer labs are available to students that need to do research or work on special projects. We are very fortunate to have a supplemental computer lab in the 4th and 5th grade wing of the campus that is used by students for research and Accelerated Reader quizzes.
Roosevelt received brand new computers in the computer lab in January 2012. The older computers were moved to the auxiliary computer lab in Room 12 and students are able to use those for project research, Accelerated Reader, and Jiji Math.
The Roosevelt PTA has supported the installation of SMART boards in many classrooms. The teachers have all received training on using the SMART boards. Students use the SMART boards in their PBL presentations.
Roosevelt also has carts with iPads and ChromeBooks that can be used in the classrooms when needed by the teachers. The iPads and ChromeBooks are used for research, PBL projects, Accelerated Reader, Jiji Math and more.
And finally, one 4th grade and one 6th grade class will also be using iPods for math skills and word fluency as part of a pilot program called Project iRead.
How do the arts fit into the curriculum?
The Roosevelt administration firmly believes that our students need an art and music curriculum in addition to math, language arts, science and social studies.
Roosevelt offers Music for Minors for grades K – 2, Music for Learners for grades 3 – 5 and Instrumental Music for grades 6-8. Music for Minors teaches young students basic music concepts. Parent volunteers teach each class. Volunteers do not need any previous music experience. To be a Music for Minors docent, you just need to have a love of music and complete the required training.
The Music for Learners and Instrumental Music program is completely funded by the Redwood City Education Foundation (RCEF).
Roosevelt’s PTA funds a program for students in grades TK-8 offered by Community School of Music And Arts (CSMA).
A master art teacher comes to each classroom once a month for art instruction. CSMA’s award-winning in-school Art4Schools curriculum develops hands-on technical skills and an understanding of the language of art while also teaching art appreciation and cultural understanding of art and its history.
CSMA’s professional art teachers guide and encourage learning and creative expression through sequential lessons in drawing, painting, sculpting and more. All art classes teach a concept such as line, shape, color, and develop basic technical skills. Lessons are often inspired by a cultural or historical context that encourages students to explore new worlds and view life from other perspectives. The art lessons also coordinate with the classroom’s curriculum to become an integral, enriching part of each child’s education.
What professional development opportunities do teachers have? In what ways do teachers collaborate?
Our teachers received PBL training from Buck Institute for Education. All of Roosevelt’s teachers collaborate both with other grade-level teachers as well as across all grade levels. That is the key to a good and effective PBL curriculum.
As an example, in 2011 our second graders were studying the election process in November and our fifth graders were studying government. Our second graders decided to do their own school wide vote for adding sixth grade using the same principles as a regular election (debates, polling booths, ballots, etc.) When the voting was completed, the fifth graders helped to tabulate the results into accurate percentages.
How does Roosevelt keep parents informed of school information and activities?
Roosevelt parents get letters and flyers sent home in the weekly Thursday folder. In addition to the Thursday folder, we have a Yahoo group that keeps our families informed about events and important information. Each Sunday, a “This Week at Roosevelt” email goes out to the group which lists the activities at school for the week as well as important school, district and community news.
This blog is also another conduit for information and it is regularly updated. The weekly informational email is posted to the blog each Sunday afternoon and pictures and classroom activities are added as they are received.
Is there an active Parent Teacher Association (PTA)? What other types of parent involvement take place at Roosevelt?
Yes, Roosevelt has a very active PTA that raises money throughout the year for field trips, Art, Music for Minors training, assembly speakers and much more. Throughout the year, the PTA also sponsors family fun nights – movie night, Bingo, ice cream socials, etc.
Roosevelt also has a School Site Council that meets once a month and works on the school’s Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA), Safety Plan, Measure W allocation, etc.
There is also the English Language Advisory Committee (ELAC). ELAC advises the school and principal on programs and services for English Language Learner (ELL) students.
There are also parents helping out on campus in the classrooms, library, office and school garden. Our parents are asked to volunteer for a minimum of 40 hours per year. The majority of that 40 hours is done by supporting your child with homework, reading, attending parent/teacher conferences, but parents are asked to help out at one event during the school year.
Is childcare available before or after school?
An after school program is offered by The YMCA. The cost is very affordable because the YMCA’s program is funded through grants. This program is designed as a comprehensive program for today’s changing society, not only for working families but also to enrich children’s lives. The program is a combination of several components. It is not an extension of the school, but rather compliments Roosevelt in a manner that is fun for the students. A long term goal of this program is to help the child develop socially through small group work while emphasizing the child as an individual. Program participants are divided into small groups based on age and maturity.
In order to receive the greatest benefit from the program, participants must attend every school day for a minimum of 3hrs after the end of the school day. Registration information is available at the Sequoia YMCA or school office. Contact the Sequoia YMCA at 650-368-4168 with any questions or for more information.
How much are parents expected/asked to raise in fundraising each year?
Because of state wide and district budget cuts to education, our art program and other enrichment activities for grades TK – 8 are completely funded by our parents. At the beginning of each school year, parents are asked to contribute at least $130 per child. The amount that the PTA spends per child every year on field trips, art, assemblies, art, music, etc. is approximately $450.
The PTA is always looking for ways to increase funds needed for enrichment programs. Right now, they organize fundraising through restaurant nights, collecting Box Tops, Escrip, candy sales, etc. Take a look at our Fundraising page for more information.
What is Roosevelt’s approach to student safety and discipline?
Safety and discipline are taken very seriously at Roosevelt. The School Site Council goes over the school’s safety plan each year. Throughout the year, the students have fire drills, earthquake drills and lockdown drills. The gates leading into the lower playground are locked each morning at 8:30am and not unlocked until dismissal time in the afternoon. Cameras are also in place throughout the campus to monitor activities.
Roosevelt holds all children accountable to the same standard and works with the individual student, teacher and parent to make sure all involved are communicating effectively to solve any problems or issues and create a positive school experience for the student.
What is the official policy regarding bullying?
Starting in Kindergarten, students are taught the three agreements: Show Respect, Make a Good Decision and Solve Problems.
Roosevelt Elementary School is committed to providing a caring, peaceful, friendly and safe learning environment. Bullying is not tolerated. We are all unique and bring special qualities to share. Everyone has a right to be respected and a responsibility to respect one another. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our school. If bullying does occur, all students should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. It is expected that anyone who knows about a bullying incident report it to the staff immediately.