Hoover School's K-5 program has three self-contained single-grade classrooms at each grade level. We are back to in-person instruction in all classrooms, and attendance is compulsory. We have incredibly well-rounded, instructionally-strong teachers in every classroom who work collaboratively to provide our children with a high-quality education.
Program organization and resources support the key role of the classroom teacher. Human resources supplementing the work of the classroom teacher are either part of the District-wide support staff, or carefully planned, specifically-focused exceptions to the concept of one teacher being exclusively responsible for every aspect of her or his students' learning. Both types of programs support and enhance the learning of specific groups of students. District-wide supplemental support programs include Special Education and related services, music instruction, physical education instruction, library skills instruction, SPECTRA Art instruction, and the PAUSD Induction Consortium which supports teachers new to our District and/or the profession.
Hoover supports partners like Project Cornerstone. Founded in 1999, Project Cornerstone is a community initiative, led by YMCA of Silicon Valley, with the mission to create an environment where all adults support youth so they grow up to be healthy, caring, and responsible adults. Our programs are structured around the 40 Developmental Assets established by researchers at the Search Institute in Minneapolis, MN. Developmental Assets outline the positive experiences, relationships, skills, and values that children and teens need to grow into thriving adults.
At Hoover, ABC (Asset Building Champions) Readers are parent volunteers trained in the Developmental Assets model for positive youth development. They come prepared to read a specially selected children’s book and lead related activities and discussions in classrooms each month. The program’s goal is to help school communities achieve the following:
- Create a common language and vocabulary about student respect and behavior expectations among all members of the school community — students, parents and caregivers, teachers and staff.
- Help students develop skills to handle physical, verbal, relational and digital bullying and to be UPstanders if they see someone else being bullied.
- Focus on the development of Social and Emotional (SEL) skills (e.g., self-management, self-awareness, responsible decision-making, social awareness, and relationship skills).
- Increase the number of caring adults on campus so that all students feel that there is at least one adult they can turn to if they have a problem.
- Contribute to a positive school climate where every student feels valued and supported to achieve and thrive.
Each regular classroom teacher initiates, directs, and supervises daily instruction and associated activities, both in and outside the classroom. Classroom teachers provide student-centered, whole-group, small group and direct instruction. Daily lessons tie-in clearly with long-term instructional goals. Supplemental activities outside the classroom are closely tied to the same instructional goals.
In past years, parent volunteers worked extensively in the kindergarten classrooms, supporting a full schedule of teacher-led activities. In grades one through five, parent volunteers may be called upon to assist teachers with the preparation of materials or with other tasks not directly involving classroom instructional activities. In support of the concept of the classroom teacher having primary responsibility for student instruction, we employ classroom aides in kindergarten. We also have three highly-trained and experienced Instructional Assistants who push-in to classrooms, provide small- and whole-group instruction, and meet with students one-on-one as well.
At Hoover, every child is encouraged and supported to meet District grade level standards and beyond. There are times when a child may not make the progress that is expected, and that's when we rely on the many "support" systems embedded in our instructional program. We are very fortunate to be able to allocate resources on a case-by-case basis to truly individualize learning when needed.
If a student has exceptional difficulty in any aspect of learning or is gifted/talented, the Student Success Team (SST) may review his/her needs and consult with parents to recommend appropriate types of assistance or enrichment. The education specialist (Also known as the resource specialist), speech/language pathologist, school psychologist, classroom teacher, and principal are members of the SST. The following supportive programs are available at Hoover:
Limited-English Proficient - The English Language Development Teacher provides lessons in developing English language proficiency and works as a consultant with the classroom teachers. All of Hoover's teachers are accredited to teach English language learners and provide support as needed throughout the school day.
Reading Intervention - Individual or small group intensive reading instruction is provided by our Reading Specialist for students reading below grade level in first and second grade. This accelerated program allows children to "fill in" gaps in their understanding of phonics and decoding that, in turn, leads to greater comprehension of text. We are very fortunate to have this level of expertise to rely upon. Our trained Instructional Assistants who work with all levels of students, will be called on to support the learning of students with special needs, whether it be a student who is struggling, or a learner who is achieving beyond grade level expectations.
Special Education - Eligible students receive instruction from the Ed Specialist (RSP), Reena Sharma, to assist them with the core curriculum and classroom assignments. Reena is here 3.5 days each week. Students who qualify for Speech/Language assistance are provided with additional help by our speech pathologist. Rachel Milliken-Weitzman, our Reading Specialist, has been here for many years at Hoover, and she pushes in to the classroom to work with children and runs small groups outside of the classroom as well. To sum up what these incredible people do in a few sentences certainly does not do them justice. They work tirelessly to help all of our kids meet their academic and social-emotional goals. We are incredibly fortunate to have them at Hoover.
The Hoover PTA sponsors three "Open House" visiting days at Hoover each year. At these times, parents (no children) are welcome to visit and observe any classroom. Many prospective parents find these days useful for learning about the classroom environment and teaching style(s) offered at Hoover. Parents can attend one, two, or all three of these Open House events, and many often choose to see what it looks like in other grade levels. Parents begin with an introduction from Mr. Sherman and then head to classes to quietly watch the interaction between teachers and students.
As a means of communicating a student's classroom progress on an ongoing basis, all teachers complete bimonthly reports for each student, grades 1-5, sending them home on Friday. These comprehensive reports summarize student progress, including completed homework and areas requiring attention. Students receive PAUSD progress reports three times per year. In addition to scheduled parent-teacher conferences, parents can confer with teachers by phone, e-mail, or in person by appointment as they feel necessary.
Homework should have a positive impact on student learning and is defined as the assigned learning activities that students work on outside of the classroom. The purpose of homework is to provide students an opportunity to practice, reinforce and apply previously taught skills and acquired knowledge and prepare for future lessons. It is directly tied to classroom instruction. Assignments should have a clear purpose and be designed for completion within a reasonable time frame. Completing homework is the responsibility of the student. Parents can play a supportive role through monitoring, encouraging students' efforts and providing a conducive learning environment.
Homework should be designed to assist with the following:
- Deepen understanding and encourage a love of learning.
- Reflect individual student needs, learning styles, social-emotional health, and abilities in order for students to complete their homework.
- Provide timely feedback for students regarding their learning.
- Include clear instructions and performance expectations so students can complete the work independently.
- Be assigned in reasonable amounts that can be completed within a reasonable time frame.
- Provide teachers with feedback to inform instruction.
Effective homework practices do not place an undue burden on students. The Board recognizes the value of extracurricular activities, unstructured time and adequate sleep for a student's success in school.
The Winter break is intended to be a time that is free from schoolwork for students and staff. There should be no expectations on the part of students or staff that schoolwork is done over this period. No assignments should be given over the Winter break, and any long-term assignments given before Winter break should not be due during the first week back from the break.
The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that each school site develops an effective homework plan in accordance with Board policy and administrative regulations.
This policy and its associated administrative regulation shall be included in all school handbooks and secondary school course catalogs, as well as distributed on district and school websites.
Our kids we be expected to work during the time they have allotted at school. I am a strong believer in keeping skills strong and in children always giving their best effort. I'm also a strong believer in healthy, happy, and active children. Being outside, walking, riding their bikes, and playing at the park is so important! They will have time to work while they are in school. They'll be on their computers, too. I encourage them to be outside looking at the flowers or bugs and enjoying the world around them. Their teachers will discuss expectations with all of you soon and at Back to School Night.
Homework for Elementary Grades *
Homework is assigned to students in kindergarten through fifth grade on a regular basis. It is intended to do the following:
- Provide reinforcement and practice of skills and concepts
- Provide enrichment opportunities for students as an important supplement to classroom activities
- Encourage independent work and good study habits
As a guideline, when teachers choose to assign homework, students might reasonably be expected to devote the following amounts of undistracted, focused time to nightly homework, including time devoted to long-term projects and reading.
- K = Occasional short homework
- 1 = 0-10 minutes average M-Th
- 2 = 0-20 minutes average M-Th
- 3 = 0-30 minutes average M-Th
- 4 = 0-40 minutes average M-Th
- 5 = 0-50 minutes average M-Th
*Two important notes:
(1) Students in 4th and 5th grade who participate in band or strings can expect to practice their instrument for 10 minutes, five days per week.
(2) Hoover's homework expectations will not be very different from those at other schools in PAUSD.