OP Basics: Below is a basic description of the school's size, community/communities, location, and changes it has experienced in the last three years.
Olde Providence Elementary is located in Charlotte, NC and is considered a neighborhood school 9 miles south of the Uptown Charlotte area. Established in 1968, the school was expanded in 1983 and then again in 1992. The neighborhood around the school is best known for being a small community within a community. The school is within walking distance for most students. The property is expansive, with over 40 acres of outdoor area. The school community partnership with South Charlotte Recreation has made it possible to maintain 9 fields for community sports including, but not limited to, baseball, football, softball, and soccer. The students, as well as the surrounding neighbors, take part in the many outdoor amenities that the property offers, such as multiple outdoor classrooms, wooded walking trails, basketball courts, multiple playground areas, paved track and undeveloped areas for natural exploration. Mature trees, variety in topography, houses with yards and sidewalks best describes the immediate surrounding property. Although the majority of homes in the attendance zone are in close proximity in the established residential area, there are pockets of newly constructed homes, townhomes and apartments. As such, Olde Providence continues to grow in attendance and diversity. Colony place, which is just to the south of the neighborhood, is the school's closest shopping center, providing a grocery store, pharmacy, restaurants, and other businesses that cater to the needs in the neighborhood, such as music lessons and TaeKwon Do. The area supports and partners with Olde Providence Elementary and is a pedestrian-friendly village setting with community outdoor seating. The school is currently a K-5 School serving approximately 730 students; 76% of which are Caucasian, 10% African American, 8% Asian, and 5% Hispanic. In addition, approximately 28% of our 3rd through 5th graders (2015-2016 second grade certification pending) are identified as Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG). Olde Providence benefits from a strong parent volunteer base with a well-established PTA board of 5 leaders and 33 subcommittees. In addition, the Olde Providence Foundation is a non-profit, 501c3 organization founded by a separate team of parents established to raise funds to provide a "healthy, challenging and enriching environment that maximizes the learning experience of every student at OPES". They focus on mobilizing broad community support and providing financial support for needs of the school as determined by the non-profit team in partnership with the school staff. It is the only elementary school foundation in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. All 38 teachers employed at Olde Providence are determined Highly Qualified by the State of NC (3 of which are currently in the process of transferring an out-of-state license to a NC license). Forty one percent of our teachers have had 10 or more years of experience within CMS, 27% have had 5-10 years and only 31% of the teachers have had less than 5 years of experience in CMS. Of the 31% that are new to CMS within the four years, all teachers in the cohort have had additional experience teaching in other districts, ranging from one to twenty years' experience. Almost 39% of our teachers hold advanced degrees, many of whom also have secured National Board Certification.
OP purpose statement and basic summary of the mission, vision, values, and/or beliefs.
Olde Providence is committed to providing a nurturing atmosphere conducive to learning where all students and staff strive to be the best they can be. Staff and parents work together collaboratively to promote high academic and behavioral expectations to ensure that students are good citizens and are well-prepared for a lifetime of learning and productivity. Students are challenged at their ability levels to rise to their maximum potential. Our mission is to provide high quality and diverse instruction for all students by emphasizing teacher, parent and student cooperative efforts. At Olde Providence, we believe students will achieve at high levels if we provide high-quality instruction and intervention matched to student needs. Students will achieve if their progress is monitored frequently and teachers collaborate to make decisions about changes for instruction in response to the evidence of learning. Each day we celebrate and announce through morning announcements that "Olde Providence students are known everywhere for our dedication to learning and leadership in the community. We commit that together OP Knights will focus on keeping ourselves healthy, having empathy and compassion for others and taking responsibility for our environment. We are respectful, responsible and engaged learners each and every day." Examples can be seen throughout our school and extracurricular as our school offers a variety of clubs, such as Girls on the Run, Let Me Run, Science Olympiad, Odyssey of the Mind, Fitness Club, the Afterschool Enrichment Program, Girls Scouts, Boy Scouts, MAD Science, Soccer Shots and Chess. We continually focus on healthy initiatives such as Safe Walk to School days, walking for health contests, and healthy eating initiatives such as bringing community partners to model recipes such as "Massaged Kale Salad". Within the school we are focused on keeping practice current and have research based professional development for teachers supported by our partnerships in addition to what is offered by the district. The PTA in collaboration with the OPES Foundation funded a professional development opportunity for 13 teachers to attend a conference at Columbia University's Teacher's College in New York City.. Their focus was to dive deeply into balanced literacy research to best meet the needs of the variety of levels of learners we have at Olde Providence and also see the practice in action in NYC schools. We also embody our purpose, mission and vision by our high standards we set for our students, rewarding students for having integrity and giving students a leadership voice (such as with our active Student Council).
Notable achievements and areas of improvement in the last three years.
Our school has had many notable achievements and recognition over the last three years. Although this is only the second year of School Performance Grades, Olde Providence has maintained a grade designation of "B" according the State report card and remains in the top quartile of the state for proficiency in our school composite of reading, math and science. Olde Providence Elementary was awarded the 2015 Bronze National Recognition Award by the NC Alliance for a Healthier generation. This award encompasses many areas including Wellness Councils & Policies, schoolwide meals, snacks and beverages, Health and Physical Education, Physical Activity and Employee Wellness. We have piloted a second grade science environmental classroom this year led by two experienced teachers that are certified "outdoor educators" by the NC Environmental Education Association. We have had many opportunities that expand beyond the classroom such as consistently Skyping with rainforest scientists in Ecuador, actively participating in musical experiences with professional musicians, student performances and poetry slams, inviting astronomers to connect their knowledge and experience with textbooks, taking part in experiences such as the Butterfly project interacting with Holocaust survivors and literature, book talks with published authors, local field trips and destination field trips to Charleston and Winston Salem. Our front hallways are decorated with trophies for student team accomplishments such as chess tournaments, Science Olympiad, and Odyssey of the Mind successes. Last school year we celebrated one of our OM teams that traveled and competed in the World Championship. In the next three years, Olde Providence is striving to meet or exceed growth goals as determined by our state. This past year our school did not make predicted growth and as a result our school leadership team is highly invested in making decisions that support our high performing students to make at least a year's worth of growth. Strategies that include personalizing and differentiating learning for every student are researched, emphasized and promoted for maximum success. Our School Leadership team meets monthly and involves parents, teachers, and administration. We hold open meetings and utilize input from a variety of voices including student surveys and community feedback. In addition, our school is dedicated to increasing the social emotional well-being of our students and is using a teacher and community leadership team (U-KNIGHT) to implement the research based anti-bullying program work of Dan Olweus over the next three years.
Our school benefits from a close-knit, family like environment in an urban setting where change is usually the norm outside the immediate community. Although there has only been a total of four principals in Olde Providence history, the Principal is new to the school of existing staff members (second year). The focus of the school team has shifted to increasing academic urgency away from the goal of solely reading/math/science proficiency to monitoring and ensuring individual growth of every student. In addition, maintaining positive culture and focusing on positive relationships is always a priority to consistently provide the high level of service our community to which our community is accustomed.
Olde Providence is committed to providing a nurturing atmosphere conducive to learning where all students and staff strive to be the best they can be. Staff and parents work together collaboratively to promote high academic and behavioral expectations to ensure that students are good citizens and well-prepared for a lifetime of learning and productivity. Students are challenged at their ability levels to press to their maximum potential.
All children can and want to learn.
All children learn in different ways, at different times, and through different experiences.
All children deserve a safe, nurturing environment where respect and compassion are shown to each child.
All children are unique, special and talented in their own way.
All children learn by example; we have opportunities to be positive role models who influence their development.
We believe character education teaches lifelong values.
All students should be self-directed learners, collaborative workers, quality producers and community builders.
Teacher and parents should become partners in education through open communication.