Principal Erin Lane welcomed me to Jessie Beck Elementary School for a visit recently. We talked about her great staff, the school population, family engagement and support, and the exciting activities going on at Beck. Principal Lane was quite proud of all the students, staff, and their accomplishments this year.
I learned about the Two Way Immersion (TWI) program at the school that serves students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Two teachers work with a couple of grades and switch the students half way through the day providing a half day of both English and Spanish. I observed several classrooms where the science and math classes were taught in Spanish. I was truly amazed watching these students and teachers. I also met a group of student leaders that had earned self-manager badges by demonstrating the Jessie Beck Peace Pledge: Respect, Responsibility, and Kindness. Students are also able to participate in organized sports clubs at the school. The students and staff are certainly engaged at Jessie Beck ES.
I visited several classrooms and was impressed with the instruction I saw. During my classroom visits, students asked me questions. I always love to hear the concerns and questions from students. They asked me many great questions and it was a pleasure to have a chance to engage with them personally.
I visited Daniele Espinosa’s fifth grade classroom where students were discussing a poem about the American Revolution. They were highlighting parts of the poem and having discussions with their partners to gain a better understanding.
In Veronica Deleon’s science class, fourth and fifth grade students were talking about the food chain. This was a TWI class and the entire lesson was in Spanish. All of the students were engaged in a robust conversation.
Third grade students in Marilyn Harper’s class were reading a play with a partner. They were practicing the entire play to memorize all the parts for when they receive their specific assignments. They were very animated and having a lot of fun.
The second grade students in Kris Haygood’s class were all seated around a huge piece of graph paper. They were doing a lesson about area and perimeter. This was a great hands on learning experience for the students.
Maraiangeles Yossen’s first grade students were doing a science lesson in Spanish. The students were doing a reading assignment about plants. They also had some seedlings in their classroom.
I visited with Teresa Maples and her kindergartners. They were reading a story about the eggs. It included information about chicken eggs and iguana eggs. The students also talked about eating eggs.
Megan Condon’s first grade students were studying about reptiles. They were all spread out in the classroom looking quite comfortable. They were all focused on the lesson.
TWI students in Nayma Boyce’s class were doing a group reading comprehension assignment. These second and third graders were providing answers to support their understanding of the reading. They would talk about it in the big group as well as write it out for the class.
Beck ES has a strong foundation in their music and arts programs. They have many trained art volunteers that help in the classrooms. The school has beautiful artwork throughout the building and classrooms. There are several events throughout the year that support their focus on music and art. In addition, they have volunteers trained as literacy intervention partners who read with individual students to support their literacy skills development. There is a strong focus on academic rigor at the school and supports in place to help all student on this journey.
I thank Principal Lane, all the teachers, and the wonderful students at Jessie Beck Elementary School. They all made my visit memorable and fun. Thank you, All!