About Our SchoolSouthwood Elementary, part of the Metropolitan School District of Wabash County, is located in a rural setting approximately four miles south of Wabash, the county seat Wabash County, Indiana. Wabash County has a population of approximately 35,000 that is predominantly Caucasian with about eighty-six percent of the homes having two parents. Seventy-eight percent of the households in our county have incomes of $50,000 or less. Thirteen percent of the students at Southwood Elementary receive free or reduced price lunches and textbook assistance.
The Southwood Elementary building opened in 1965. The structure underwent a complete renovation in 1995-96 with the addition of six classrooms. The school has an enrollment of 450 (as of March, 2005) in grades kindergarten through sixth grade. Students leaving Southwood Elementary as sixth graders enter Southwood Junior-Senior High School located just west of our campus. Southwood Elementary is also home to a Special Education pre-school class.
Southwood Elementary's staff consists of a principal, nineteen classroom teachers, a resident music teacher, three resident special education teachers, nine traveling educational specialists, a shared-time nurse, a shared-time guidance counselor, and two Reading Recovery teachers. It is a mature, experienced, and highly professional staff.
A well-developed Title 1 program is implemented by a trained instructional assistant and by our two Reading Recovery teachers. The instructional assistant tutors students within their classrooms and the Reading Recovery teachers work with first grade students who need extra support in reading. Several teacher aides are employed to offer remedial assistance to other students on a daily basis.
During the 2006-2007 school year, MSD of Wabash County will be implementing a Levels of Service approach to meeting the needs of highly able students. The Talent Development component of LoS will allow us to meet the needs of more children in more creative ways.
Technology plays a big role with our students. Southwood Elementary has 2 Computer Labs, a Mobile Lab, and many of the classrooms in our building have a Smart Board or Interwrite system in the classroom. Teachers work very hard to intergrate technology into their lessons, ranging from typing a letter or report to creating a power point to making a chart in excel. A Technology Assistant coordinates our software and computer lab schedule. She also assists teachers with integrating technology into the curriculum. The assistant also maintains the school web site and selects appropriate educational links. Individual teachers have created classroom web sites to improve home-school communication.
Kindergarten aide insures individual attention to young emerging readers. A combination of remedial and PrimeTime aides assists the third and sixth grade students and teachers.
A media center was added to the original building in 1984. Staffed by a full time library aide, our media center contains over 12,000 titles. Many of these books are available to be used in the Accelerated Reader computerized book reporting system that is utilized throughout the building. A computerized media catalog is available as well as a computerized circulation system.
Our cafeteria manager and four assistants run the school food service offering nutritious breakfasts and lunches daily. They also look after the special dietary needs of students. A custodial staff of three full time and two part time custodians keep the school clean and safe.
A full time secretary and a full time building aide keep everyone organized and ensure the efficiency of the day-to-day operations of the school.
Southwood Elementary routinely practices disaster drills, such as fire and tornado. We also have a school safety team and a school safety plan which is reviewed annually. The Wabash County Medical Officer reviews emergency and medical procedures annually. The school district also provides a Safe School Help line to allow students and patrons to report concerns and suspicious activity anonymously.
Physical education, art, speech and hearing therapy, band (for sixth grade students), and psychological and educational evaluations are offered by traveling specialists. Also, our guidance counselor offers character education and classroom guidance on conflict resolution and peer mediation. Our school was selected to participate in Project P.E.A.C.E. Some teachers use the Peaceable Place materials by the C.E. Mendez Foundation. These programs help children learn to solve differences in a peaceable manner.
Students at Southwood Elementary are coached in civility with the weekly MissManners@ program viewed on close circuit television. Miss Manners reminds students to cover sneezes, hold doors, and demonstrate kindness and consideration for others. The Character Building committee, chaired by the school counselor, coordinates the activities of the Character Building teacher and the Miss Manners program to make sure positive attributes are constantly reinforced with the students.
Our school nurse offers programs to promote health education. Local hospital staff, EMTs, and vocational school students are used to implement these programs. Some of the programs offered are Basic Aid Training, hand washing, life skills, and asthma awareness. The nurse also offers CPR classes, universal precautions, and first aid for the staff. Our nurse was instrumental in getting Automated External Defibrillators in each of our school buildings. Southwood High School students in the PEP (Peers Educating Peers) program present an abstinence program to the sixth grade students at Southwood Elementary.
Southwood Elementary provides opportunities for boys and girls to participate in athletics. Football, basketball, volleyball, baseball, and track programs are offered and frequently utilize the help of parent volunteers. The school is also the sponsor of a Girl Scout Troop and a Boy Scout Pack. Both groups involve a large number of students and are very active. Local 4-H groups and the Good News Club also hold their meetings in the school.
Southwood Elementary students can also participate in Academic contests such as Spell Bowl, Math Bowl, Battle of the Books, and Knowledge Master.
The Parent-Teacher Organization of Southwood Elementary is very active and supportive. Their lucrative projects provide funds to purchase much-needed items for the school. Their efforts provide equipment, supplies, and special programs including a variety of convocations, a sixth grade field trip to Chicago , and camping trips for both fourth and fifth grades. The PTO gives a monetary grant to each teacher to spend at the teacher's discretion. The PTO also sponsors the annual Accelerated Reader Carnival, which helps generate excitement for reading throughout the school year. PTO meetings are well attended largely due to the fact that students perform at each meeting. Over the course of the school year, each grade level is showcased during one of the PTO meetings.
Southwood Elementary participates in the ISTEP+ assessment program. The students at Southwood Elementary tend to score above the state average. NWEA achievement tests are given in the fall and spring. Test scores indicate students are performing at or above national averages. The S.T.A.R. reading tests indicate that the majority of Southwood Elementary students are reading at or above grade level. An annual Family Fun Reading Night encourages parents to share positive reading experiences with their children.
Southwood Elementary is fortunate to be located on a campus that includes woodlands and streams. This area has been developed into a Nature Center used by all students for environmental studies. Students learn to protect the environment through educational courses and by running an actual recycling program. There is a heavy emphasis at Southwood Elementary on stewardship of our natural resources.
The students are also encouraged to be supportive of the community by participating in the annual canned food drive to benefit a local soup kitchen and by collecting pop tabs to benefit the Riley Hospital Ronald McDonald House. Southwood Elementary is honored to be a member of A One Million Club@ for having collected over one million pop tabs.