AVON LAKE, Ohio -- It is a Lorain County elementary school that works with the concept that family, students and staff working together equals a good education.
It is that cooperative approach with a feeling of family that makes Westview Elementary a Fox 8 Cool School.
Westview is one of four elementary schools in the Avon Lake School District. When it comes to academics, these kindergarteners through the fourth graders do well in the classroom.
“Everybody here is nice. The teachers are nice. You learn a lot every day. The classes are fun. I think that our teachers they teach us well,” fourth grader Sam Zaber said.
But, the teachers do more than just prepare students to take state tests. They are looking for students to excel, and they do that by going beyond textbook learning.
For example, kindergarteners learn their ABCs with a song and dance. And, first graders learned about the cycle of life by seeing baby chicks hatch from eggs.
“We’re learning about how they grow. And, we have chick journals to learn about them and what we read about them and what is happening on with them,” first grader Joseph Kassouf said.
Second graders learned about notable people beyond what they have read about them in books.
"In second grade we were able to pick somebody famous to do our biography on. We researched the person to learn about them, wrote a report and then presented it to our class,” second graders Vanessa Baker and Ethan Ruckman added.
Third graders got a hands-on lesson in horticulture.
"In science, we are learning about plants. We grew sunflowers for Mother's Day," third grader Quintin Filizetti said.
Every fourth grade class leaves a time capsule to be opened eight years later when they graduate. It contains a DVD and a handwritten note with their hopes and dreams.
And, students say Westview Elementary is also a fun place from playing on the climbing wall in gym class to taking part in Special Olympics.
"Students will participate in running, long jump and softball throw events,” fourth grader Isabella Higley added.
But, it was fourth grader Wyatt Gedon who summed up why Westview Elementary stands out.
"Here we're the Westview family and that makes us a cool school,” he said.