Academics

Books and Equipment

Each student is responsible for the proper care and return of all books and equipment received from the school.  Payment must be made for lost or damaged books and equipment.   In Pennsylvania, all textbooks are provided without charge. Textbooks may be borrowed through the principal’s office during vacation periods.  Students may borrow a wide variety of books from the school’s library.  Grade level teachers will post recommended supply lists on individual school websites.

Curriculum

At the elementary level in grades 1-5, students receive instruction in the following content areas:  English Language Arts (reading, writing, speaking and listening), Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Art, Library, Spanish, Physical Education, Health, and Vocal Music.  Kindergarten students receive instruction in English Language Arts (reading, writing, speaking and listening), Mathematics, Social Living and Library. Detailed information about specific content and standards addressed in each grade level  can be found on the District website.

English Learners

ELL instruction is provided to students with limited proficiency in speaking, listening to or reading or writing English due to their status as immigrants, refugees, foreign exchange students or American born students from non-English speaking homes.  Parents of students who may require EL instruction should alert the principal when enrolling the student in school.  The principal will refer the student for an EL evaluation, and if eligible, the student will be scheduled for services.  At registration, each parent will complete a Home Language Survey to determine English as a Second Language eligibility.

A special note about student participation in the district sponsored ESL program for the Pennsylvania Department of Education website:
●    the Pennsylvania State Board of Education regulations requires school entities to adopt policies that permit parents to have their children excused from specific instruction only in the limited circumstance described below: The right to have their children excused from specific instruction that conflicts with their religious beliefs, upon receipt by the schoolentity of a written request from the parents or guardians.
●    Consequently, a parent may not seek to have his or her child excused from a LEA ’s ESL /Bilingual program unless the instruction conflicts with the family’s religious belief.

 

Homework

Homework is extra practice/review which develops responsibility and good work habits and increases parent involvement.  Assignments should accomplish one or more of these purposes:
●    Provide a review of class activities,
●    Provide systematic practice,
●    Provide students with opportunities for original work, and/or
●    Provide for exploration of special interest through appropriate research.
    
Although amounts of homework may vary based on the work in any given day, the District recommends the following:
    Grades 1 & 2    10 – 20 minutes
    Grade 3    20 – 30 minutes
    Grade 4    30 – 40 minutes
    Grade 5    50 – 60 minutes

To request homework for a student who is absent due to illness, call the office before 11:00 am and plan to pick up the homework in the office between 3:30 and 4:30 pm.  When students have received assignments for pre-approved absences, they are expected to complete them before returning to school (unless there are extenuating circumstances approved by the principal).

Olweus Program

The Olweus (Ol-VAY-us) Bullying Prevention Program is a comprehensive framework for educating staff, students, and parents about bullying behaviors and implementing concrete, measurable action plans for reducing bullying behaviors in schools and improving school climate.  Two key pieces of this framework are teacher-led classroom meetings with students about bullying behaviors and pro-social alternatives and bi-monthly discussion groups among faculty and staff about their building’s educational climate.

As a result of implementation across the elementary program, all students (K – 5) participate in meetings with their classroom teacher and an additional support person (principal, counselor, instructional support teacher, special education teacher, special subject teacher or instructional aide).  These two adults co-facilitate a classroom meeting with students that address student concerns around bullying behaviors at school.  Classroom meetings take place at the same time each week as decided upon by respective building staffs.  These meetings help students to build relationships in the classroom among themselves and with educational professionals. Typically, the teacher and co-facilitator join students in circle discussions.  During the initial nine weeks, significant time is spent defining bullying behaviors with students:
●    Bullying is purposeful words or actions that are mean or hurtful.
●    Bullying happens repeatedly.
●    Bullying happens when there is an imbalance of power.

Programs and Services for Student Identified as Mentally Gifted

All elementary schools located within the District provide services for mentally gifted students using the conceptual framework of continuous progress through the mainstream curriculum.  A student may qualify for the mentally gifted program based on ability and/or achievement test scores, student performance, teacher input, and parent input.  When a student qualifies for gifted programming, school staff and parent(s) develop a program to address the student’s needs.  The team, assisted by the gifted coordinator, work together to provide the student with options that may include differentiated instruction, enrichment, acceleration, special academic events, or independent study.

Protected Handicapped Students

Each elementary school provides a protected handicapped student an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from the school program and extracurricular activities, to the maximum extent appropriate to the student’s abilities, by offering the services and accommodations needed by the student.  In order to qualify as a protected handicapped student, a child must be of school age and have a physical or mental disability which substantially limits or prohibits his or her participation in or access to a part of the school program.  Services and accommodations, which are developed by the school staff and in collaboration with parent(s), are provided without discrimination or cost to the student or the family.

Reporting Student Progress

Student progress is reported once every nine week quarter in grades 1-5.  Progress is reported in English Language Arts and Mathematics each quarter. Progress in Social Studies, Science and special subject areas is reported each semester.  Instrumental Music reports progress in the first and third quarters. In Kindergarten, report cards are distributed at the end of the first and second semesters. Student report cards are emailed to families via Dashboard and are available via the student and parent Dashboard accounts.  Families without computer access can contact their child’s teacher or the school principal to obtain printed copies of the student’s report card.

Parent-Teacher Conferences are held yearly at the end of the first report period.  Parents and teachers are encouraged to schedule conferences as needs arise throughout the year.

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

Social and Emotional Well Being is a goal in the District’s Strategic Plan. The District uses the CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning) as a theoretical framework to help inform our efforts in understanding and building these important competencies.  Through intentional teaching and curriculum integration, students acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

Special Education Services

The Mt. Lebanon School District provides support for students with a broad range of educational needs.  The majority of students are educated with minor modifications to the regular education program.  A small percentage of students may need additional accommodations to enable them to progress in the regular education classroom.  Other students may need more extensive support offered through a special education program.  For additional information, contact your building principal or the Office of Special Education at 412-344-2044.

Special education at each elementary school consists of services and programs designed to meet the educational needs of students who meet state and federal eligibility criteria.  The District maintains a continuum of services for students with disabilities which include autistic support, blind or visually impaired support, deaf or hearing impaired support, emotional support, learning support, life skills support, multiple disabilities support, physical support, and speech and language support.  The District also provides related services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language support, and transportation required for the student to benefit from the special education program.  

To identify a student with a disability, various screening activities are conducted.  When screening results suggest a student might be a student in need of specially designed instruction, the District secures permission to evaluate from parent(s).  A team comprised of District staff and the parent(s) gathers information for the evaluation.  The evaluation report (ER) is written and reviewed by the team.  If it is determined the child has a disability and also has a need for specially designed instruction, an individualized education plan (IEP) is developed.  

The type of special education services, the amount of special education support, and the location of special education services are determined by the IEP team and based on the least restrictive environment in which the student’s needs can be met. 

Standardized Assessments

At the elementary level, standardized tests are utilized to help benchmark student progress and provide information to teachers to aid in instruction.  Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) and AimsWeb assessments are used for these purposes. Parents receive information about their child’s assessment results at the end of the school year. The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) is administered to all third, fourth, and fifth grade students in reading and math. Grade 4 students are also assessed in Science.  These tests are mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. A testing calendar can be found on the district website.

Student Support Services

Mt. Lebanon School District provides support for students with a broad range of educational needs.  The majority of students are educated without any modifications to the regular education program.  A small percentage of students may need minor accommodations to enable them to progress in the regular classroom.  Other students may need more extensive support offered through a special education program.  For additional information, contact the building principal, or the Supervisor of Special Education at 412-344-2044.

Summer Enrichment

The four week program provides enrichment opportunities to students in grades 3-7 to explore new learning frontiers on a voluntary basis.  The specific classes offered vary year to year, but cover a wide range of interest areas such as acting, art, scrapbooking, cheerleading, fencing, and percussion camp.  Information about Summer Enrichment is disseminated to  parents in the spring.

Summer Learning Center

The goal of the Summer Learning Center is to help students in grades K-5 maintain and improve reading and/or math skills.   Eligibility for this program is based on information from district assessments and teacher referrals.  The goal of the Summer Learning Center is to help students in grades K-5 maintain and improve reading and math skills.  The program is designed to incorporate weekly themes in an inclusive setting where students have the opportunity to develop academic skills in an enjoyable summer setting.

Amazed Students

Student Collage