Principal's Page

Hello Ivy Drive Families,
On behalf of the entire Ivy Drive community, welcome to our Ivy Drive Elementary School. Whether you are a family returning to our school community or joining us for the first time, we are glad to have you in our PRIDE.

At Ivy Drive, we are committed to providing a safe and nurturing learning environment by holding high expectations for all of our students while providing our community with support and positive reinforcement. As a full Ivy Drive community, we set goals for ourselves and for the school and we have committed ourselves to collecting data in an effort to analyze students' progress and ensure they are making the process needed to master or exceed grade-level academic standards, as well as develop socially and emotionally.  We recognize that if we are not meeting our students’ needs, then they are unable to meet these standards. As a result, we have focused our work around the follow areas:

1. Creating a Positive Learning Environment
2. Clear and Challenging Expectations
3. Purposeful Engagement and Exploration
4.
Individual Goal Setting and Reflection 
As we work to achieve and enhance these goals, we will continuously work towards improvement. In order to build a strong sense of security and belonging at Ivy Drive, we will continue to focus on teaching, reinforcing, and modeling our school wide PBIS expectations.

Our expectations (known to the students as PRIDE) reflect the characteristics, qualities, and behaviors that we feel all students need in order to contribute to a positive learning environment.
Our school wide expectation: PRIDE stands for: Persevere, Respect, Integrity, Diversity, Enthusiasm.

These clear expectations help the students to develop a strong understanding of their behavior and emotions. PRIDE also helps to set clear expectations so that students feel safe and secure; they know what to expect, making our school environment very predictable. Beyond our school-wide expectations, all classroom teachers will hold daily PRIDE meetings. During PRIDE, students will engage in Social Emotional Learning (SEL). SEL provides direct instruction around our PRIDE expectations, problem solving skills, mindfulness, community building, and relationship-building skills necessary for students to be positive contributors to their school community. 
Another area of focus at Ivy Drive is setting Clear and Challenging Expectations for students. We believe that students learn best when they understand their learning targets and receive individualized support to achieve high and challenging standards. Staff and students will focus classroom instruction around Learning Targets in every subject area throughout the day. Unlike instructional objectives, which are about instruction, come from content standards, are written in teacher language, and are used to guide teaching during a lesson;  Learning Targets frame a lesson from the student’s point of view.  A learning target helps students understand the lesson's purpose and why it is important to learn the information. Learning targets are written in student friendly language, often beginning with the words "I CAN..."
In addition to the use of Learning Targets, Ivy has daily WINN instructional blocks. 'What I Need Now' or WINN is an instructional block during the school day when students will receive additional instruction in individualized areas where they require support; The areas of need are determined by data collection and analysis done by classroom staff and our instructional coaches. Through individualizing students’ instruction, we are able to tailor instruction to meet all students’ needs.
Another area of focus for Ivy Drive is Individual Reflection and Growth. We believe that students learn best when they are inspired to create their own learning goals and reflect on their own progress. Intrinsic motivation comes from students’ internal desire or drive to do well; we strive to empower every student to be the leader of their own learning. By empowering our students, they will help them develop a sense of accountability, recognize cause and effect, and acquire a growth mindset; focusing on their progress over time. Our goal is for every student to celebrate their own individual success; whether huge or incremental, forward progress is something to celebrate. We want every student to be invested in their education and live as lifelong learners.
As a faculty and staff we recognize that in order to achieve the high standards we have set for our students, we must maintain open, honest, and transparent communication with all members of our community around student progress, successes, and challenges; We encourage all families to do the same. We use ParentSquare as our primary way to communicate with families and share information at every grade level. Ivy staff knows that family involvement and commitment to education are the driving forces behind student success.  We want every family to become active members of our school community.
Additional ways to access information about activities within the school community is through accessing our social media pages. You can find Ivy Drive and our #IvyPRIDE on the Ivy Drive Elementary School Facebook page, @PrincipalGomes on Twitter and on our Ivy Drive PTA Facebook page. These additional platforms are ways for staff to share information, communicate, and build school community pride. We will also update our school website (http://ivydrive.bristol.k12.us) throughout the school year with important materials including our School Improvement Plan, Reunification Plan, and Safe School Climate Plan. We encourage all families to regularly check any one of these resources to stay up-to-date.
Again, welcome to the Ivy Drive School community! I know that I speak for the entire Ivy staff when I say that we look forward to working with you and your child this year and for many years to come. If I can offer any assistance to you during the school year, or you have questions, concerns, comments, or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. You can reach me by phone at 860.584.7844  or by email at EmilyGomes@bristolk12.org

Best Regards,

Emily B. Gomes
Principal