Dear Paw Creek Elementary Families,
Paw Creek Elementary School is a partial magnet with a school-wide focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and computer-science immersion that allows students to engage in hands-on learning in fun and exciting ways. At Paw Creek Elementary we are working to prepare students for jobs of the future. Our school mission: We believe that Paw Creek Students are Studious, Motivated, Ambitious, Respectful, and Talented (SMART). By focusing on individual student success, we will develop SMART citizens who will reach their full potential.
Our students deserve the opportunities to realize their dreams and have the exposure that they might not otherwise have. We work to achieve this daily through our approach to instruction. An example is our gardening program, where students put their math and science skills to work as they learn about plants. We also have a science lab and a technology lab.
In addition, we have a partnership with Code to the Future, America’s first comprehensive school program for computer-science Immersion. We are one-to-one with technology devices and each student receives a Chromebook.
We focus on getting each student to achieve more than a year’s growth in a single academic year. Student progress is closely monitored and shared with parents.
Paw Creek’s computer-science immersion is done in three distinct cycles, each using a different technology platform for instruction in computer science. At the end of each cycle, students complete a major project called an Epic Build to demonstrate what they've learned. We host several events called Epic Build Showcases that give students the opportunity to share those projects. These events are simply amazing! The first cycle is done with a coding tool called Scratch, developed by researchers and engineers at MIT. The students use simple blocks of code that they drag and drop into position to make their projects come to life. By using these code blocks, students learn about the logic of computer science without needing to worry about typing in code. The Epic Builds in Scratch are some sort of interactive story or a working video game. Students incorporate this work into their other subjects, such as history and science.
I would like to share a bit about myself. I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio, and moved to Charlotte to attend Johnson C. Smith University and then the UNC Charlotte for graduate school. I have been in education for 15 years, working as a teacher, facilitator and an assistant principal in CMS, and have been a principal for five years. I am married and have one son, Brent.
At Paw Creek, we have a laser focus on student growth and mastery, making sure that each and every Paw Creek student reaches his or her personal best. We are also innovative with our instruction, working to infuse computer science and STEM project-based learning in our classrooms. At Paw Creek, we believe that all children have a gift. We look forward to partnering with parents to tap into the individual talents of our students. Our school’s staff is hardworking and all staff members care deeply about the success of students. We are very proud of the work that has been done in many areas, including our approach to literacy instruction through the balanced literacy framework. We ask that you read with your child daily and ask them questions about what they are reading. We will provide training for our families on reading strategies to use at home. We will also make sure that you are aware of your child’s performance and reading levels, as well as growth, throughout the year.
Most importantly, we want to engage you in our school. We know that when families and schools work together, magic happens. I am depending on your support. I am asking all families to join our PTA. Our goal is to increase membership and participation significantly. Doing so will be a school-wide campaign.
Each school year includes many celebrations where we will unite as a school family, including regular awards celebrations, an International Night and a Career Fair. We want to hear from you as we work to make our school a premier school in CMS. All of us at Paw Creek will work to support your child’s development and school experience.
Thank you for choosing CMS and Paw Creek Elementary.
Danielle K. Belton, Principal