School Profile

H. B. Wilson School is a Pre-Kindergarten through Sixth Grade Elementary School located in the "Fairview" section of Camden, New Jersey. There is an enrollment of 276 students. Although some students ride the school bus, the majority of the students walk to school.

There is a comprehensive elementary curriculum based on the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards (NJCCCS) for all students at the school. When the students complete this curriculum, they are expected to proceed into the 21st century with the essential skills and comprehensive knowledge to achieve success. Our main goal is to provide a learning environment that is condusive for all students so that they will be successful and intelligent adults who can function into today's society. Our instructional program will help students attain the knowledge, competencies, and skills that are needed to be successful.

We have dedicated and professional staff members who interact daily with the boys and girls. There are functional word walls as well as reading, technology, and writing centers presented in the classrooms. The teachers have incorporated a 120 minute Language Arts Literacy Block and a 60 minute Mathematics Block in all classes to facilitate daily instruction.

We have adopted a variety of effective instructional methods and initiatives to further enhance student learning and achievement that is being utilized in the classrooms.
They include the following:

The Intensive Early Literacy (IEL) is being used in our school in accordance to the State mandate. There are seven main components of this program.

- Motivation and Background Knowledge: This componenet is essentail in order to ascertain what students know and where this will take them. Teachers preview the reading by accessing and bui8lding background knowledge. Children must be motivated in order to learn. Our teachers make real life connections to students and respect the connections that the students make.

- Phonemic Awareness: Children must be able to identify and manipulate individual sounds or phonemes in our spoken language; this is a critical learning skill. Phonemic awareness helps students read and spell. Research indicates that phonemic awareness helps students in the early primary grades learn to read.

- Phonics: Students learn the sound-letter relationships between the oral and written language. As the boys and girls progress, they understand the direct relationship between letters and sounds. Research indicates that phonics improves word recognition and spelling, comprehension, and is beneficial for those students who have difficulty learning to read.

- Vocabulary: Vocabulary is the meaning and pronunciation of words used for communication. The four types of vocabulary are listening: words needed to understand what we hear, speaking: words that are needed to understand when we speak, reading: words needed to understand what we read, and writing: words used in writing. Research indicates that students learn the meaning of most words through everyday experiences with oral and written language.

- Fluency: Reading fluency is the ability to read with accuracy and an appropriate rate and expression. Fluency provides the bridge between word recognition and reading comprehension. Fluent readers are able to read with accuracy using an appropriate rate and expression. They also have superb decoding skills.

- Comprehension: Reading comprehension is the essence of reading and is the intended meaning of the communication. Comprehension must be taught. It is essential to practice comprehension strategies at the listening level before applying them at the reading level. Assessing prior kinowledge, monitoring comprehension, generating and answering questions, visualizing and summarizing are strategies that will improve comprehension.

- Writing: Writing is the complex process of recording one's thoughts. It is used for composition, communication expression, learning and engaging the reader. The different writing techniques include modeled writing: modeled by the teacher, shared writing: teachers and students write together with the teacher as the scribe, and intactive writing: students work together, independently of the teacher and acting as scribes. Research indicates that students who are proficient in reading are good writers.

Harcourt Reading and Harcourt Math are used to develop literacy skills for fluent, lifelong readers and mathematical proficiency. These programs include direct instruction with hands-on experiences and the reinforcement of skills that will require utilizing problem solving pedagogies and stgrategies.

Harcourt Social Studies and Harcourt Science provide reading and comprehension skills that will enable the students to learn about specific areas in the environment and the world. Students are able to expand their background experiences and have hands-on activities and vicarious experiences.