Whittier Elementary School

School Highlights 2016 - 2017

  • The Whittier Way- Students and adults participated in following the Whittier Way, earning Bulldog Bucks for being respectful, being responsible, being a learner, and being in control.  This included an emphasis on being prepared to be good learners and taking responsibility for yourself and your actions.  Periodic “stores” were held in which students could spend their Bulldog Bucks.  In addition, students and adults focused on “filling buckets”, where they focused on ways for others to feel good about themselves.
  • Character Plus-. Students learned about a character trait each month through weekly meetings with the counselors that were supported by teachers throughout the building.  Students learned about cooperation, responsibility, compassion, empathy, gratitude, respect, perseverance, ambition, courage, integrity, patience and citizenship.
  • Awards Assemblies with Learning Celebrations- Students celebrated success with quarterly awards assemblies in which they received recognition for effort and achievement. This year, we were “Going for the Goal”, working with students to set and achieve their goals.  Part of our learning celebrations included visits from KC Wolf, the Kansas City Kansas Mariachi Band, and a rotation of Whittier Olympic events.  Students won medals for earning A’s and B’s on their grade card along with good attendance, good behavior and character, and good effort. 
  • Talent Show-- We had our second annual student  talent show which show cased our students’ vast array of talents.  Our students showed great poise and courage as they performed and the audience joined in as they showed us how to Whip and Nae Nae.
  • Jump Start to School- Incoming kindergarten students were invited to attend school a week early to help with the transition to school.  Teachers provided a ½ day of curriculum to student that included read alouds, introduction to Bulldog Bucks, experience with routines and procedures.  Parents also took part in an hour workshop to share information and expectations as well prepare them to help their child at home.
  • Family Activities- There were several activities throughout the year for families to enjoy together.  Several classrooms hosted their own family events, putting a spotlight on student work and learning. Third grade invited families to a “World’s Fair” where a culmination of learning was shared.  Our PTA began family activities such as Loteria night for families to enjoy spending time together.  Our Parent committee launched a new Facebook page which has increased parent commiunication.
  • On-going Staff Development- Staff participated in professional development activities that included a continued study of reader development, study of teaching writing through Writer’s Workshop and continued work with the Marzano effective elements of instruction.  Intense focus was placed on early development of numeracy, including ways to diagnose needs and intervene early.
  • Enriched and diverse experiences- Students participated in a variety of activities and field trips that extended learning into the community, including a Fifth grade college visit to KU, work with Schlagle library, fieldtrips to the zoo, fire station, Old Shawnee Town, and museums among others.
  • Collaboration- Teachers worked collaboratively to meet the needs of all students, with special education and ESL services teachers working directly with teachers in classrooms.  Teachers worked collaboratively in professional learning communities to study and plan together.
  • Student achievement- Students continue to work on increasing skills in reading, writing, math and science.  More kindergartners left kindergarten reading than ever before!  Students continue to improve their effort and thinking skills. Our Fifth grade team won a Challenge Award for success with mathematics achievement.
  • Health services- Students received health and nutrition services through programs coordinated by the school nurse and counsellors such as Score 1 for Health, a dental program that provided services during the school day, and the Back Snack program. 
  • Hats and Hands for Kids- Teachers and parents volunteered to coordinate getting hats and gloves donated and distributed to every student in the building, along with a free book, for the holidays. 
  • After School Activities- Students participated in a variety of activities, including Kidzone, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Good News Club, Art Club, Opera Club and Garden Club for enrichment after school. Girls on the Run was continued to encourage positive living and self confidence in our 4th and 5th grade girls.  The girls and sponsors culminated both semesters with a 5k run at Arrowhead Stadium.  Community volunteers ran a sports club for 40 Fourth and Fifth grade students each week.
  • Caring for Kids- Whittier began a collaboration with neighborhood partners through the Caring for Kids program.  Partnerships with a neighbourhood church and local businesses continued with members from the church volunteering at the school with programs such as Backsnacks.  A local business became very involved, running a sports club for students and providing treats and meals for snacks during evening activities. 
  • Helping the community- Whittier students and staff participated in numerous activities to help support others in the community, including participating in the United Way Campaign, bringing in food donations for Bethel during the holidays, and raising over $1000 for Pennies for Patients -Leukemia Foundation.  Whittier students showed real compassion for others. 
  • Student leadership- Many students demonstrated leadership, serving in various groups in the building.  One highlight was the work of the Young Leaders of Tomorrow, a group of fourth and fifth graders. The student council was more active than ever and coordinated many activities for students throughout the year.

Whittier's Mission Statement

Professional, dedicated teachers providing effective instruction to help students become: confident, contributing, life-long learners in a safe, caring, and engaging environment fully supported by our parents and community.

This building report card is a brief summary of how your school and students are performing and the impact of your local school improvement plan. However, it should not be used as a single source to judge students or school accomplishments. No single report can tell the whole story of a district's or school's education program. This report card does not provide information about curriculum, teaching methods, special programs, the "climate" of your school or the performance of individual teachers or administrators.

In addition, this report card is not a way of "rating" or "ranking" schools. Because of the distinct community and student characteristics, direct comparison between schools or districts are invalid. Rank-ordering school districts or schools is a clear misuse of the information. Rather, the information should be used to access local strengths and weaknesses based on past performance and to plan program improvements.