Jacksonwald Elementary School
Jacksonwald is one of three K-4 elementary schools in the Exeter Township School District. Jacksonwald Elementary School serves kindergarten through fourth grade with a current enrollment of about 420 students. With all full-day kindergarten classrooms, the students are finding success with our strong literacy balanced approach coupled with mathematical skills development that will insure a great start when entering first grade. Class sizes vary at the different grade levels, however, the overall numbers are relatively small for an elementary setting. Our special education classes have both pull-out programs as well as itinerant support in the classroom. Special education classes are much smaller so that students learn through the utilization of best practice research and a more individualized curriculum.
Having physically moved our students, teachers, and staff from the M.L. Lausch Elementary School Center to Jacksonwald Elementary in 2011, our basic philosophy and mission remains the same. We want to create a place where your children want to come to school and we are delighted to come to work. Our staff is continually improving and shifting our focus to better serve the needs of the children in our community. The attention to detail and continuous commitment to best practices has enabled Exeter Township to remain one of the premier school districts in Berks County. The school system sets high expectations for both the students and staff with quality education permeating the climate and culture of the district.
Jacksonwald Elementary currently offers an autistic support class along with related services in speech, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. We have an English as a second language teacher who services students with multi-cultural backgrounds, and a wonderful gifted and talented program for students who are achieving well above grade level. All students attend art, music, library, and physical education classes during our six day cycle. String programs for our musically interested students are available at selected grade levels.
Teachers work in self-contained classrooms in grades one through three and students are ability grouped for mathematics only in fourth grade. All of the teachers in the school teach language arts, science, and social studies to their homeroom students. Homerooms are mixed ability classroom settings that allow all children to be successful learners.
Additional support is provided to students, teachers and families through various services. Guidance services are assigned to help with testing, emotional concerns and other types of counseling requests. Items are kept confidential at all times. In addition, the guidance program helps our children become better students and citizens through specialized classroom lessons that are taught throughout the school year. An instructional support teacher helps students, staff, and families with both academic and specific behavior concerns. Reading support is provided for students in all grades through a full time reading specialist and two part-time aides. They offer group and remedial support to individuals, small groups, large groups, and provide in-service to staff as needed. The district provides many aides to support instructional staff and students with special needs. Jacksonwald Elementary is technologically sound with computers in every classroom. Internet services are available in the library at our many stations as well as in our computer lab which accommodates up to thirty students. An aide who works in the computer lab full time assists teachers when they bring students to the lab for instruction. Computer skills are taught with the philosophy that computers are valuable working and learning tools.
We have two full time secretaries in the office who provide a parent-friendly atmosphere as the first line of contact at Jacksonwald. They serve the needs of students, staff, and families on a daily basis.
In the Exeter Township School District we emphasize the essential skills of language arts and mathematics along with the development of higher order thinking skills that students need to be successful in later life. For mathematics we use the Harcourt Brace series. It is a spiraling curriculum that builds on learned skills, continually revisits concepts, and aligns very well with our state testing program. Our language arts curriculum is a literacy-based program that offers a combination of phonics and literacy skills that reach a wide range of students. Leveled guided reading books assure that students are reading on their instructional level. We have a new social studies curriculum that teaches children to be sensitive to multicultural values and a science curriculum that stresses hands-on kits where children learn through exploration.
Our teachers and support staff are continually going through staff development and our classrooms are all well equipped with the materials and technology necessary for delivering a quality program. Students have access to additional support in reading and mathematics through our Title One reading program and one-on-one tutoring from the many teacher aides working at every grade level. Our school frequently offers workshops to help parents work effectively with their children in the home.
Our Association of Parents and Teachers (APT) is a wonderful organization that works tirelessly to provide assemblies and many other educational activities that are both entertaining and interesting for the students. In addition, they provide many enjoyable evening activities for families at the school. Our food service prepares and serves the students with nutritional breakfast and lunchtime meals that are prepared and served on site daily.
Our school is friendly and child centered. Academically, we anticipate that Jacksonwald Elementary will continue the tradition of excellence on state assessments we have celebrated previously in both math and reading. We have a talented and dedicated professional staff and an equally talented and dedicated support staff. Our School Board is continually willing to provide the necessary resources to help students learn and allow staff to be able to perform their jobs in an appropriate environment.