Dearington Elementary School for Innovation serves students from kindergarten through grade five. Our curriculum supports the Virginia Standards of Learning through a field of study that integrates language arts, reading, science, technology, research and art projects. Classroom teachers meet monthly with resource specialists to plan units and develop flexible schedules that allows small group instruction in both the regular classrooms, the resource rooms and the media center. In order to meet all of our students' needs and to challenge them to achieve, we assess and assign students to classrooms and programs that will best meet their individual needs regardless of their grade assignment. We, at DESI, share a common interest in our children and want what is in their best interests. Decisions concerning curriculum, programs, and projects are made collaboratively by consensus of the faculty.

Reading and Language Arts

A minimum of two uninterrupted hours a day is spent in the area of Language Arts/Reading. Dearington uses Lynchburg City Schools' Standards of Learning Enabling Objectives alignment as the guideline for reading and language instruction. Orton Gillingham and Fundations are also used to support student learning in Reading, Writing, and Language. Novels and Trade Books are used to both remediate and accelerate, based on student need. Students are also immersed in teacher led Interactive Read Alouds.

Student reading levels are assessed using a variety of methods including PALs, DIBELS, IXL, and Running Records. Student reading growth is continually monitored and differentiated as needed.;

Math

A minimum of one uninterrupted hour a day is spent on mathematics. Dearington uses Lynchburg City Schools' Standards of Learning Enabling Objectives alignment as the guideline for math instruction. Math is integrated into many other areas of the curriculum such as art, science, technology and media. Flexible scheduling allows classroom and resource teachers the opportunity to work with large and small groups of students. By using manipulative-based math, we strive for student mastery of basic computational skills and student conceptual thinking and problem solving techniques.

Science

Science is taught on a daily basis at Dearington. We use Lynchburg City Schools' Standards of Learning Enabling Objectives alignment as the guideline for science instruction. Science is taught in the classroom by grade-area teachers and also by a resource Science Specialist. The Science Standards of Learning are taught with many "hands-on" activities found in kits developed for each unit of study and lab experiences done in our fully equipped PRISM Science Lab.

Social Studies

Dearington uses Lynchburg City Schools' Standards of Learning Enabling Objectives alignment as the guideline for social studies instruction. Resource specialists plan units and develop flexible schedules that allow small group instruction. Students are given many opportunities to demonstrate their learning through projects. Students enjoy teacher-developed lessons and hands-on presentations that present concepts and facts at each grade level.

Spanish

DESI is committed to the idea that a foreign language enriches a student's school experience. This instruction is correlated with the regular curriculum. Teaching children the basics in two languages reinforces the skills in both languages. In doing so, it allows the students twice as much time and opportunity to master critical concepts. Our Spanish faculty includes one full-time teacher.

English Language Learners

All students enrolled in the English Language Learners (ELL) instructional program will learn English through the provision of appropriate ELL instructional techniques and methods. In addition, the ELL students' acquisition of English Literacy will be enhanced when appropriate opportunities for social and classroom interaction are provided.

An ELL Teacher will serve as a support to the ELL students, their teachers and through the building principal, as the LCS liaison with the ELL students’ parents and community. Through this support, the ELL student will be given opportunities to share his/her culture and pride in his/her home language with other students. By sharing, the student will develop an understanding of and respect for the cultures of others.

Programs for Students with Disabilities

Dearington Elementary School for Innovation provides special education services to students with disabilities. Placement in a special education program is the result of concerns and referrals by parents, teachers, our counselor, and principal followed by extensive diagnostic testing and evaluation. Students must meet specific requirements to qualify for services. Special education services, outlined in individual education plans, are presented through a variety of service models and are designed to meet the academic, social, emotional and physical needs of our students.

Title I

Title I, Part A funds are awarded to school divisions and public schools with high numbers or percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic content and achievement standards. Our school uses our Title I, Part A funds to support staffing to provide individual and/or small group remediation for students in reading and math and professional development for staff.

By law, each Title I school receives a portion of funds for parent and family engagement. Our school uses these funds to provide resources and/or host events to help build the capacity of families to help support learning at home. We continue to seek the input of parents and families to help us determine the best ways to utilize these funds.

Our Title I mission is to increase student achievement for children, especially in the areas of reading and math. The program is implemented in a way that will strive to close the achievement gap.

The Title I Team
  • uses resources to assist students with the greatest needs and students who will benefit the most from our specialized programs. Because we have a school-wide program, funding is used for the benefit of all students through the purchase of materials for reading and math, through parental involvement offerings, and with special projects as needed.
  • ensures that children have access to effective, scientifically based instructional strategies and challenging academic content.
  • elevates the quality of instruction by providing teachers and staff with substantial opportunities for professional development and reading support.
  • afford parents substantial and meaningful opportunities to learn ways to help their children at school and at home through parental involvement workshops.
Title I Reading Support

Supplementary reading services are provided to students in grades K through 5 who demonstrate a need based on test results from PALS (Phonemic and Literacy Screening), the Virginia English SOL, the division-wide English assessments, and the DIBELS reading test.

Students in grades 1 through 5 receive 45 minutes of small group supplementary services daily, and students in kindergarten receive 30 minutes daily. Services are provided by the reading specialist or instructional assistants working under the supervision of the reading specialist.

Title I Math Support

Services in the area of math are provided in-class with additional staff support as well as through tutorial and small group opportunities. Students in grades 3 through 5 who need support services for math are remediated and enriched by the Title I teacher.

Technology

DESI's technology goes beyond the common classroom. Starting in Kindergarten we have a 1:2 iPad initiative that continues through 1st grade.  Beginning in 2nd grade and continuing through 5th grade, we have a 1:1 personal device program. All of our resources connect to the school's wireless internet access for the optimal use of technology in every classroom throughout the day. The DESI technology program also includes Touch Screen TVs in every grade level classroom. These go beyond the SMARTBoard technology by allowing multiple students to work on the collaborative work space at one time.

Character Education

The character education program at DESI emphasizes respect, responsibility, kindness, and safety. While it is integrated throughout our curriculum, students may also participate in class lessons, small groups, or morning meetings. The second steps curriculum used in the classrooms also supports the social emotional learning of all students.