Hoover School's K-5 program has three self-contained single-grade classrooms for all grade levels.
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, Gifted and Talented Education services, music instruction, physical education instruction, library skills instruction, SPECTRA Art instruction, and the District's beginning teacher support program.
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.
Parent volunteers work 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, Hoover does not employ classroom aides or use parent volunteers in the classroom, except in kindergarten.
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 Study Team (SST) may review his/her needs and consult with parents to recommend appropriate types of assistance or enrichment. The resource specialist, speech/language specialist, 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 Recovery - Individual or small group intensive reading instruction is provided but 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. As you know, we also have two Literacy Instructional Assistants who work with all levels of students, who may be called upon 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 Resource Specialist, Rachel Milliken-Weitzman, to assist them with the core curriculum and classroom assignments. Students who qualify for Speech/Language assistance are provided with additional help by our specialist, Grace Lee.
The Hoover PTA sponsors three "Open House" visiting days at Hoover each year. At these times, parents 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.
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 report cards 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, and 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:
- 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.
Homework for Elementary Grades
Homework is assigned to students in kindergarten through fifth grade on a regular basis. It is intended to:
- 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
Note: 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.