Our school community of staff, parents and children place high value on developing a learning environment that is a safe and caring place. Teachers build relationships with students that provide an atmosphere wherein students can be challenged to take risks and reach for goals that are high and appropriate. Innovative teaching leads to academic growth that is monitored frequently through varied assessments.
We encourage families to volunteer, attend special events, connect and build relationships with teachers, and see the school as a place to be supported, educated and welcomed. We count on family engagement to build a critical link between home and school in order to create optimum success for our learners. The teachers and staff who work at John Hay set high standards for instructional performance as evidenced in student growth and achievement. They consistently work to collaborate with team mates, administration and families to find and implement the best teaching and learning strategies that will have the most impact on learning for students.
Perhaps most importantly, we hold ourselves, our families, and our students accountable to high standards for growth and achievement, personal behavior and positive attitudes so that learning is authentic, owned and inspired. We review data throughout the year and adjust instruction and practice accordingly. Teachers participate in frequent professional development so as to keep ourselves attune to the needs of our students and evaluate our practice.
Today's highly effective schools find creative ways to meet the needs of the individual learner. John Hay makes such a commitment - to do whatever is necessary to support the needs of every child, from the learner who struggles, to the student who performs above standard. We accomplish this through effective planning and teaching of the core curriculum, strategic and frequent assessment, application of targeted interventions, and supplemental enrichment programs.
Curriculum - Our classroom core curriculum includes literacy, math, science, social studies, health, writing and communication. Our teachers use current teaching methods for optimum results paired with district-adopted curriculum including Math in Focus, Writers Workshop, Inquiry-Based Science, a Balanced Literacy Approach to reading and literacy, and more. Our entire curriculum is aligned with the Common Core State Standards (as of Fall 2013). Our annual state assessment data may be viewed on our Annual School Report.
Assessment - Students k-5 are assessed through informal and formal instruments. Each year begins with base-line pre-assessments in order to provide teachers with key information around which instruction is planned. Throughout the year, formative assessments such as unit tests, projects, MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) testing, teacher observation and daily classroom work is used to determine the level of growth in individual learners as well as to monitor progress toward year-end grade level standards. As formative assessments provide information, instruction is adjusted.
Year end assessments become more formal and summative. The Washington State Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC) is a standardized test administered at 3rd, 4th and 5th grade and offers achievement data to the school, the district and the state. Schools use summative data such as this to set school improvement goals through the C-SIP (Continuous School Improvement Plan). John Hay’s C-SIP as well as the annual School Report are always available for public view.
Targeted and strategic assessment measures are an important factor and practice for highly effective schools. At Hay, we take our data seriously, use multiple measures to gauge student progress, and set school-wide and classroom goals according to the ongoing results we receive.
Interventions - A true test of any school is in how well the school responds to the individual needs of its learners. As students demonstrate unique learning needs, or perform above standard, or have other social, emotional or behavioral needs, a highly effective school must have creative and fluent ways to respond. At Hay, we utilize varied options for intervention to insure every child has the best possible chance for school success, and every grade level and every classroom is provided specific intervention programs.
In kindergarten, we provide each classroom with a second teacher who serves as part of the kindergarten team teaching a reduced class size for reading or mathematics.
First grade classrooms team with an additional math or reading teacher so that instruction occurs in classes of approximately 14 students to one teacher. This is a key intervention at a time when reading is most likely to emerge. First grade classrooms also have individual reading tutors provided through the Sound Partner Reading program - an approach with a high rate of success in reaching and teaching the struggling reader.
Second through fifth grade classrooms have additional adult support to provide small-group tutoring in mathematics as well as a reading specialist on call to supplement reading instruction for students demonstrating the need for more support in literacy skills though our corps of academic tutors. Second through fifth grade classes are also served by a Reduced Class Size (RCS) teacher in either reading or mathematics to provide instruction with fewer students.
These varied intervention supplements allow our teachers to reach past the basic curriculum to provide all of our students with a unique menu of learning support tailored to individual need. Most of these programs are made possible through the funds raised and donations made to the John Hay Foundation. The Foundation is overseen and sponsored by Partners, our parent/teacher organization developed to provide support and assistance that works to benefit the John Hay learning community.
Supplemental and Enrichment Programs - In addition to the core classroom curriculum, students also experience library science, physical education, technology and multi-arts (drama, music & visual art) as part of the regular school day programming.
Students have leadership opportunities in Student Council, Library Aides, Safety Patrol, and in roles provided at the classroom level. Each year, 4th and 5th grade students are invited to participate in the Global Reading Challenge for an additional enrichment experience in literacy, as well as Math Olympics which is held after school. In addition, John Hay partners with Arts Impact and Seattle Children's Theater. Both organization send artists-in-residence to work alongside teachers in presenting rich drama and visual art lessons to students.
As part of our commitment to teaching students care for their community and world, students in every classroom participate in at least one service project per year designed to respond to the needs of others on a local and/or global scale.
Finally, our before and after school programs offer students even more enrichment through tuition-based classes in creative art, foreign languages, drama, music, sports, chess club, Math Olympics Math Club, and debate.
At John Hay, we believe elementary school is a precious time in the life of a child and a family. And while we hold students, parents and staff to high standards, we intentionally invest ourselves in creating a place of learning that inspires the mind, captures attention, raises the bar, develops young leaders, and responds to the needs of others, while making the schoolhouse a whole lot of fun!
Our school's name was first suggested by the school board secretary in 1904. John Hay was an American statesman, diplomat, author, and journalist who served as foreign policy adviser to several American presidents. He was perhaps most known for his role as personal friend and private secretary to President Abraham Lincoln from 1861 until President Lincoln’s death in 1865. He is credited for co- authoring a 10-volume biography of President Lincoln in 1890. He served as secretary of state under President McKinley from 1898-1905 during which time he helped negotiate the Treaty of Paris of 1893, which brought an end to the Spanish American War. In addition, he worked to negotiate treaties that gave the U.S. an exclusive right to build the Panama Canal, as well as establishing the Open Door policy in China.
As a young man, he valued learning as evidenced by his love of literacy. He developed a special interest in poetry during his time at Brown University, being named class poet. He went on to publish books of poetry, as well as other historical and narrative works.