Hempstead is a primary school serving approximately 557 K-6 children. We take great pride in the diversity of our population. Collaboratively, we create an environment which fosters life-long learning in an ever-changing, richly diverse society. We enable children to meet high standards of learning by providing a well-balanced curriculum that ensures children's cognitive, creative, and social growth, with an uncompromising commitment to excellence. We guarantee that all children who attend school on a regular basis, and participate in their learning, will advance to higher levels of learning to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
"Collaboration" is the operative word at Hempstead and it is visibly demonstrated through our ongoing partnerships with parents, business, and community. We encourage parent involvement through the following activities: a very active and involved PTA;
**individual parent compacts to establish a commitment to each child's educational experience;
**parent participation on the Site-Base Team;
**parent workshops given by staff and community agencies such as EPIC and CAPE ;
**Interactive Journals, which encourage ongoing communication among teachers, parents, and children;
**a quarterly newsletter that highlights our accomplishments;
**a bilingual school-community liaison who reaches out to our major non-English-speaking groups, and
**Building Community Family Nights where we promote a spirit of community and enhanced home-school connections. Additionally, families engage in relevant interdisciplinary activities that integrate the New York State Standards.
At Hempstead, we have collaborative relationships with special parent groups which meet the needs of our various ethnic populations. We further support the rich diversity in our school through cultural arts programs sponsored by our PTA, and keep alive the "Multicultural Spirit" with a committee dedicated solely to Cultural Arts Awareness. Our local police department sponsors our Adopt-A-Cop program. It strives to build a trusting relationship between children and police, while teaching safety and survival skills. We're involved with the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program, which provides us with additional support for our students. In addition, our districtwide VISION program boasts over 200 volunteers who have become reading partners with our students.
The Rockland County Association for Learning Disabilities sponsors a Saturday program at Hempstead called SMART KIDS to enhance social and academic skills for Hempstead children, as well as children from other district elementary schools. We are also participants in Junior Achievement whose purpose is to educate and inspire young people to value free enterprise, business, and economics in order to improve the quality of their lives.
Grade-level scheduled common planning time and monthly professional development sessions promote collaboration among staff members and enhance integration of curriculum while providing a common experiential base for our students. Staff members work together to develop grade-level activities that support our school action plan and further develop our collaborative spirit.
We believe in looking at children through multiple lenses. Therefore, all staff members collaborate in their efforts to get to know our children by using a process called a Descriptive Review. Professional and non-professional staff meet to discuss a particular child. Together, accommodations and options to build on the child's strengths are developed and implemented. The Administrative Cabinet, social worker, special education teacher, reading teacher, and psychologist work together to help children and families in crisis, as well as, children who are having learning, social and/or emotional problems. This team works collaboratively with other staff members to support all Hempstead children.
Alternative assessment is being incorporated to better measure a child's progress. We are working toward connecting instruction to assessment, developing portfolios, and validating the use of teacher observations and inventories. Teachers continue to participate in professional development activities to enhance the learning environment and model for our students the positive attitudes of life-long learners. We administer the Early Literacy Profile and the Developmental Reading Assessment, which are authentic assessments designed to provide information about a student's progress in various aspects of language development-reading, writing, speaking, and listening. It is a tool for teachers to evaluate and support the literacy growth of students in grades K-6. This Profile is considered one of several indicators of a student's overall performance.
We offer our students a comprehensive, diversified curriculum based on the belief that children do indeed have multiple intelligences and varied learning styles and strengths, but that they all can learn. Our goal is to challenge and support children to perform at their optimal level of proficiency. Differentiated instruction is used in classrooms to meet the diversified needs of students.
The Writing Process is used to develop writing skills. Hands-on activities are provided and encouraged, particularly in math, science, and social studies. Strategies for critical and creative thinking are interwoven into the curriculum to help children become effective problem solvers and communicators. Small group-intensive instruction is provided for our at-risk students in reading. Studio art is offered to our artistically gifted children. GATE and Revolving Door programs attract the children who need to be academically challenged. The music, art, physical education, and computer programs are all of central importance in achieving our goals, while play is an integral part of the learning process.
Computer literacy is a major thrust at Hempstead. Our current technology upgrade provides students with opportunities to communicate effectively and creatively, as well as to access, retrieve, interpret, and evaluate information. Our Media Center is the hub for digital literacy.
Hempstead's caring staff combines professionalism, dedication, enthusiasm, perseverance, and the energy to create a nurturing environment for learning.
Impact II Developer and Adaptor Grants. Since their inception, more than 60 grants have been awarded to the professional staff at the Hempstead School. These award-winning projects have become an integral part of our overall curriculum.
Individual awards won by teachers in our school include:
*PTA Founders' Day life membership,
*Distinguished Service Award,
*Dynamic Group Award from the New York Association for the Education of Young Children:
*East Ramapo Award of Excellence,
*Early Childhood Consortium Rookie Teacher of the Year,
*The College of New Paltz School of Education Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching, and
*District Nomination for New York State Teacher of the Year Award.
Currently, we are proud to acknowledge that we have a National Board Certified Teacher .