As Prairie Elementary School celebrates its 50th anniversary, students and staff alike are embodying their motto - We are a TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More). With a focus and belief in the power of collective efficacy, Prairie believes a shared leadership supports student growth through assessing, planning, implementing, monitoring and ultimately adjusting to meet the needs of students.
At a recent Board of Education meeting, Principal Brian Zallis presented Prairie’s school improvement goals including a focus on English language arts, mathematics and social emotional learning (SEL). School leadership and staff have implemented these goals through action steps supporting student achievement and growth, professional learning for all staff, and supporting students social emotional needs.
Principal Zallis attributes the school’s progress on, “We are continuously analyzing our data to adjust our action plans to support student growth and achievement. Our first and foremost goal is to help students reach their potential.”
One of the ways they support students is through a co-teaching model where general education and special education teachers work together to meet the needs of all students in a classroom. The Prairie staff utilizes the co-teaching model to get specialized staff into classrooms working side-by-side with teachers to address students’ needs. Teachers involved in co-teaching plan together and teach together. This format allows more small group instruction to not only remediate, but also extend learning. These actions directly support the Multi Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) philosophy to meet the needs of all students.
Prairie administration puts a strong emphasis on social emotional growth and development through whole school activities, individual classrooms and community engagement. This is accomplished by incorporating SEL into their weekly activities including mindful Mondays during morning announcements, class meetings, parent workshops, and assemblies sponsored by Prairie’s Home and School organization. Prairie also embodies the mission of creating community contributors through service activities including Prairie Kids Cares donating to area organizations including making blankets for Naperville Humane Society, Feed my Starving Children and Sunrise Assisted Living outings, book drives for underprivileged schools and raising money for the Swifty Foundation. The Prairie Elementary School community truly cares and is making a difference in the world around them!
Here is to 50 more years Prairie Elementary School!