Welcome from our Principal Geoffrey Casey
I know, I know...this is an old picture. Sure I should change it but I love it because I had more hair before." It's tough getting older.
The theme for this year is: Scholars...Under Construction. I believe most of our children know the difference between a "student" and a "scholar." I would hope they would tell you that anyone entering Shady Side in the morning is a student...we have over 500 of them. A '"Scholar" is a student who takes pride in his/her work and does whatever it takes to become successful. They know if they listen to the instruction they will learn, if they persevere and try it will pay off in the long run. They will not say they cannot do something...they will say "I cannot do something, yet!" A link to our Seagull Promise can be found in the Special Features section on this website. How many "scholars" do we have at Shady Side?
Shady Side is a special place to be a student, staff member or volunteer. My "principal" friends have gotten tired of me telling them this each time we meet. We teach the whole child. Come into the school and see the Unity Project in front of the school, the tapestry map of Shady Side in the Foyer and the outstanding art in the hallways. Come to the winter and spring concerts to see the instrumental and vocal talents of our students. If you are able to attend the Seagull Sprint, one of the "Girls on the Run" Competitions or the spring Field Day you would observe good sportsmanship and athletic expertise. Join the with the staff and be so proud of our 5th scholars as they research oysters at Discovery Village, return oysters into the Bay and create a business plan to raise money to save the Chesapeake Bay which is so important to out community. A visit to the school would also reveal the technology we are so fortunate to have obtained in the last few years from the efforts of our fabulous PTO. We have four Chrome that are in constant use and we should be receiving a fifth cart soon! You would see that our Student Ambassadors, Safety Patrols, Flag Raisers, Morning Announcers and PreK/Kindergarten bus helpers, and morning first grade/fifth grade reading buddies create the positive climate of the school. Just a few minutes in the school, I would hope you'd feel the warm supportive climate that is developed with the Seagull Promise, Scholar Dollars, weekly motivational quotes, and Scholar of the Month celebrations. All of this, and we have not even mentioned anything about the academic success of Shady Side. Evidence of this success can be seen in the County Science Fair results, writing competition winners, outstanding test data or the many afterschool opportunities to extend learning.
Girls On the Run (Fall) Girls On the Run (Spring
Homework Club NASA Best (Gr. 4)
24 Club (before school -Gr. 3) Fondant Cake Contest
Clay Art Math Enrichment (primary)
Math Enrichment (Intermediate) Dance (Gr. 5)
Oyster Club (Gr.5) STEM Afterschool Program (Gr2)
Science Fair Club SeaPerch Robotics (Gr 2) (
Blast (3-5...every other year)
The teachers are doing an outstanding job, but at Shady Side we know that the most effective program utilizes the talents of our families. To that end, I want to clearly state the 2016-17 focus areas of the school.
Guided Reading: Carefully matching every child to reading materials at their instructional reading level. Instruction each day in small groups learning specific strategies for that group. This has already been an area of focus within the primary grades but is being expanded into the intermediate grades this year.Interactive Reading: There are pamphlets from the Reading Office that explain the different strategies a child usually practices at the different levels. You may have received one last year or will get one at conferences
Interactive Reading Activity: A new county-wide initiative in Grades 3-5. Students will spend about 15 minutes each day listening to challenging, authentic literature and participating in higher level discussions... not limited to reading level.
Fountas and Pinnell Assessment: Superintendent, Dr. Arlotto, has made primary literacy a county wide focus area. We all agree that all of our scholars should be reading on grade level by the end of 3rd grade. This assessment, we are beginning to administer clearly will assist teachers with each child reaching this specific reading level. Knowing this information allows us to provide specialized instruction to meet the specific needs of our students. Instruction on too low or two high of a reading level is not the most effective way to improve reading. Reading Resource Teacher, Miss Kelly, a trained expert in this program and part-time Reading Teacher Mrs. Whalen, provided Professional Development. last year. Intermediate girdle will receive similar PD this year. Every parent should be aware of the instructional reading level of their young scholars
Math Problem-Solving: The entire school will be embedding the math content in real-world problems. The students will be given a variety of strategies to help determine a solution. Some may want to use manipulatives, some will like to draw pictures/diagrams and some will use one of the familiar algorithms we know. Students will gain experience in selecting a strategy and explain why it is effective.
School Culture: Moving from Good to Great
Told you that Shady Side was a special place! Thank you for being such important partners.