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    Dear Hamilton Families and Friends,

    It is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2021-22 school year at Hamilton Elementary School. This is my 15th year at Hamilton and I’m so excited to see what is ahead this year as we share the many opportunities for growth, exploration and collaboration within our HCS community.

    Our school provides students with a range of experiences that prepare students not only for academic success but also to be healthy, engaged, and responsible people. 

    In the area of literacy, we implement the Reading and Writing Workshop Model as a focus of our English Language Arts block. The Workshop Model has the following four main components: mini lesson, independent reading and writing, small group instruction, and a share session.

    An HCS Collaboration  

    The Everyday Math curriculum provides the basis for our math instruction. This curriculum focuses on using concrete, real-life examples to explain mathematical concepts, repeated exposure to skills, frequent practice of computation skills, and using multiple methods and problem-solving skills.

    As part of of RtI (Response to Intervention) program, we also provide some students with supplemental Reading and Math support. Depending on the individual student’s needs, we implement a balanced literacy approach using the Leveled Literacy Instruction curriculum by Fountas & Pinnell and/or the Orton-Gillingham method which focuses on direct, systematic multisensory instruction. 

    In the area of social/emotional learning as an elementary school, we have uniformly adopted the Second Step curriculum, which offers weekly lessons regarding such topics as growth mindset, goal setting, problem solving, and emotion management. This is coupled with a character development program called The Positivity Project.

    Hamilton students are continuing to build their technology skills using iPads and the SeeSaw platform in Grades PreK-1 and Chromebooks using Google Classroom in Grades 2-5. These tools enhance their learning and help students connect with their world to build skills necessary for the 21st century. Our media class provides students with the opportunity to build keyboarding skills using Typing Agent in Grades 3-5 and Keyboarding Without Tears in Grade 2.

    Our students are enjoying the new addition to our school this year of a Makerspace room. A Makerspace room is a place where students can gather to work on projects with a focus on creativity, innovation, and imagination. If you have any common household items that you would like to donate (egg cartons, paper towel tubes, craft supplies, or other such items), it would be greatly appreciated. These can be dropped off at the front desk and labeled “Makerspace.”

    We have a strong selection of musical performance opportunities including Orchestra for Grades 2-5, Chorus for Grades 3-5, and Band for Grades 4 and 5. Additionally, we offer a fall and spring theatre performance that students prepare for during an after school drama and musical club.

    Our partnership with Colgate University is a unique aspect of our school community that connects elementary and college students. Colgate volunteers provide extra support for classroom activities, develop and implement foreign language experiences for 2nd grade students, offer after school literacy activities for 1st graders, and organize recess games.

    There are many extracurricular activities that elementary students can choose from including the following: Art Club, Math Club, Running Club, Ukulele Club, Student Council, Kickball Club, Literacy Magazine, Novel Writing Club, and Girls on the Run.

    Great success does not happen without team effort. I invite you to become an active participant in our school community as we grow stronger. I look forward to working with our remarkable staff, involved parents, and committed students in the year ahead. If you have any questions, please contact the elementary school office at (315) 824-6330 or email me at hthomas@hamiltoncentral.org.

    All the best,

    Heather Thomas

    Elementary Principal

Last Modified on October 27, 2021