CHARDON - Park Elementary in Chardon is a state recognized Hall of Fame school. One could say that these kindergartners through the fifth graders are on the "same page. They are participating in the "one book, one school" program. It’s when everyone one reads the same book that is focused on setting and reaching one’s goals.
Teachers have found ways to balance technology and the arts, while meeting the mandated curriculum. Many hands-on projects are integrated into the classroom, like a science lesson about fossils. “We’re going to be making mold in cast fossils out of chocolate this week," fourth grader Tegan Sprague said.
Some fifth graders took their science class outside and used binoculars received through a grant from the Geauga County Park District. "We are searching for signs of winter and spring and determining if the groundhog was correct. So far, I have more spring than winter,” said fifth grader Mason Fil explained.
Park Elementary is now a one-to-one school, meaning all students use chrome books in the classroom. "The students have been learning about coding. We did back in December what they call the 'hour of code’ -- that was across the whole world and we participated in that. The fifth graders right now are learning how to create websites,” technology teacher Sheryl Skufca said.
Many students find using chrome books easier and more fun than using textbooks. "We will do assignments, like compositions assignments, sometimes English, sometimes social studies. Sometimes when we have indoor recess, we will play educational games,” fourth grader Katie Schuler added.
There are also some aspiring musicians at Park Elementary, unique because they play the ukulele.
Just trying to play the ukulele can help teach you how to play the guitar and any other instruments with strings that you pluck. Sometimes it's complicated, but it's fun. You learn new things,” fifth grader Lailah Pugh said.
And, it’s those new things that help make Park Elementary a Cool School.