NORTH OLMSTED - Pine Intermediate School in North Olmsted is known not only as a place to learn, but a place to flourish. It begins with the approach that every child deserves a champion. "Every teacher in this building, we work as a team. We work together fourth grade, fifth grade, sixth grade - we collaborate. We do lots of things just all for the benefit of the children,” fourth grade teacher Susie Farrenholz said.
Students also give their input to help teachers form the curriculum. "Our teachers let us pick what we want in social studies where we read about a civilization. And, we have an interactive choice word where we pick what we do after and they grade us on that," fifth grader Juliana Nader added.
Students appreciate the choices and the creativity in the classroom. “There are five different books that we could be reading. We're like reading them and doing fun activities with them. What we're doing is putting all the characters on paper and we're giving the traits of them, what their job is,” sixth grader Tyler Gentry said.
But, it's not only about academics. The goal is: to touch, reach and teach the "whole" child. The Orff Method of music instruction is used. It incorporates movement in music, while encouraging singing and improvising. "We like to move around and she likes to make it fun ... It's actually like playing and having music class together," fourth grader Lila Schneider explained.
Students belong to a number of clubs, like the workout warriors. It's extra physical fitness twice a week before school. “We do like about five workouts each Tuesday and Thursday. It’s really just to get our strength up more and really just to move more,” sixth grader Jermell Pierce said.
In a statement sixth grader Tejah Sharp describes what makes Pine Intermediate a Cool School. "It's the great students, and the wonderful teachers and the best principal in the world," she said.