In July of 2017, Heritage Elementary applied and was awarded A+ status from Oklahoma A+ Schools at the University of Central Oklahoma. All certified teaching staff attended a week-long training to begin the process of implementing this methodology. Regular on-going A+ training has been offered, throughout the year, to maintain the effectiveness and current knowledge this approach requires. Heritage staff are learning how to integrate the arts into multiple areas, such as, curriculum planning, multiple learning pathway theories, creativity, integrated unit planning, arts integration, as well as, workshops in visual art, music, theater, dance and creative writing. In doing this, existing curricular areas will become enhanced as they embrace the arts and continue to partner that with their current STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) focuses. As funding becomes available, the goal for Heritage is to bring both the Arts and STEM into every grade and classroom allowing students of various ages to reach for their dreams while their creativity blossoms and grows in all areas of student learning. Teacher grants from the Tahlequah Community Fund and Tahlequah Public Schools Foundation are several resources that they received this year. These funds provided Heritage Elementary the ability to purchase classroom supplies and resources for art and technology integration.
Heritage Elementary also continues to be a Great Expectations Model School. To become a Model GE School, a GE mentor must determine that 90-100% of the teachers are implementing 100% of the classroom practices daily. The Great Expectations® (GE) teaching/training model is guided by six basic principles (Tenets). These Tenets provide guidelines for program training and implementation and serve as standards for evaluating GE schools/districts. The Tenets are as follows: High Expectations, Teacher Attitude and Responsibility, All Children Can Learn, Building Self-Esteem and having a climate of mutual respect.
There is always something going on at Heritage Elementary. In December the 5th grade classes went to Biz Town and they had their annual spaghetti dinner and basket auction. The robotics team this year includes Tate Shepherd, Miley Boydstun, Jacob Lechtenberg, Wyatt Stephens, Blake Dotson, and Gryffyn Clark. They have completed in the VexIQ competition in Muskogee, the Christmas Classic at Greenwood Elementary, and are looking forward to competing again on February 3rd. Heritage also has 13 students on our Archery team, who traveled to Maryetta on December 14th for their first meet. They all did fantastic! Kaden Tibbets came home with a 2nd place medal. Their next meet will be held locally on February 7th and then the state shoot will be on February 21st in Tulsa. The Spring Scholastic Book Fair will take place in the Heritage library February 26-March 2. National Read Across America Day is also March 2nd and Heritage will be celebrating the week with many different events. They will dress up throughout the week, have special guest readers, have art displayed in the library and of course have many books for sale to students and families.
The Annual Tahlequah Polar Plunge 2018 is March 3rd. The “Freezin’ for a Reason” Plunge will be held at Arrowhead Resort. Prior to this event, students will participate in a coin drive at Heritage Elementary to raise awareness and funds in support of Oklahoma Special Olympics. Make plans to come out and see area administrators, teachers, and staff “take the plunge.” Hope to see you there!