Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year, Pershing community! As the Pershing Principal, I speak for our entire staff in sharing that we are very excited to begin a new year of learning with our students. After all of the change and challenge the pandemic brought each of us, coming back together full day as a community is encouraging. We recognize that the coming months will bring many opportunities for us to get to know our students more deeply, figuring out their strengths, passions, and skills. This year we will have more resources, such as additional staff, available to help students meet their academic and social-emotional growth goals. We practice continuous improvement through a cycle of inquiry, and are eager to help students make progress and reflect on their growth!
Pershing has a very caring, collaborative and professional staff that believes strongly in the academic and social-emotional success of each of our students. The San Juan Unified School District uses the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and ongoing benchmark assessments to communicate academic growth and application of identified “Successful Practices” throughout the school year. These standards guide teachers in facilitating learning in each of the specific curricular areas, and in helping to develop critical life-long skills for students’ future success. We are held accountable for mastery teaching of each of the CCSS. We report out student progress at each trimester, along with halfway through each trimester, if there are areas of concern. We continue our focus for professional learning around 21st Century Skills, Common Core State Standards and the Successful Practices.
At Pershing we implement Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) and Restorative Practices. As part of the PBIS program, Pershing staff and students have established clear expectations for behavior in all areas of our school. We explicitly teach those expectations to the students and reward students frequently with positive notes and comments for positive behaviors. It is our goal that expectations for all student behavior are clear throughout our campus, whether on the playground, in the cafeteria or in classrooms. We use the acronym R.O.A.R. to anchor our positive expectations of student, staff and adult behavior: Pershing Panthers are Respectful, Organized, Always Safe, and Responsible. You will often hear us say, “Be a ROARing Panther today!” We also establish positive classroom communities through Listening Circles. When students struggle with problems, we use Restorative Practices and Conferencing to support students to learn how to solve problems in a manner that restores, or repairs, relationship with one another.
We encourage and seek out open communication between families and our staff. When surveys are sent to you, please share openly so we our school can continue to grow and improve. Communication is the key to our success! We highly value your support and partnership. Join us each day by promoting a positive learning environment in which students and staff enjoy attending Pershing Elementary. Please let us know when things are going well, and when you have concerns, challenges or questions.
I’ve updated our handbook for each family to refer to throughout the year, but please also become familiar with the San Juan Unified School District Family Handbook. Please listen and review our weekly messages and the Panther Press newsletter, which are sent via phone and email with upcoming events for the week and month. I encourage you to visit our district website at www.sanjuan.edu and the Pershing website at sanjuan.edu/Pershing, as well. If you are not receiving school messages, please inform our office so we can update your information. On behalf of the Pershing staff, I’d like to thank you for choosing Pershing School, home of the Roaring Panthers!
Kendra Shelton, Principal