Back to School: Barnwell Primary focusing on effective reading

Barnwell Primary School is placing an emphasis on reading, especially how to read effectively.

“Reading is the foundation to a successful school career and it is our responsibility at Barnwell Primary School to provide each student with solid reading skills,” said Principal Donna Selvey. “We use all other subject areas (math, science, social studies, health, writing) to enhance the reading process.”

While all stakeholders can get involved, Selvey encourages parents to ensure their children read at least 20 minutes daily at home.

“Our community can support us by offering books as prizes or donating funds to purchase more books for our leveled classroom libraries. Also, it helps tremendously when stakeholders participate in school meetings so we can combine our resources to promote educational endeavors, as well as learning the needs and resources of all involved,” she said.

The work at home is in addition to the guidance provided daily at school. Selvey said they want to provide a learning environment that is individualized to each student’s needs.

This is done by closely tracking each student in order to provide them with interventions to support their educational growth. “It’s exciting to be able to set growth targets with each student and watch them reach their goals. Celebrating with students when they get excited over reaching a reading goal is one thing I look forward to each year,” said Selvey.

Selvey said she is excited to begin the new year with “excellent teachers who are continuously improving their teaching abilities through professional development to meet the needs of every student.”

New staff include: first grade teachers Beverly Burton and Stephanie Davis, second grade teacher Deanna Grubbs, special services teacher Joy Kinard, occupational therapist Elizabeth Weaver, speech therapists Andrea Whittington, Kawana Ford and Hannah Johnson, special services aides MaryAnn Atkins and Kim Helmick, and kindergarten aide Jaimiy Corley.

Safety is also important to the school, which is why Selvey reminds those dropping off students to follow the school’s transportation routes. All car traffic should follow the service road behind the school via the entrance on Hagood Avenue. Buses use the horseshoe in front of the cafeteria.

“Transportation is always hectic the first few weeks of school. We have hundreds of children being dropped off, so that takes time, especially when you are trying to keep everyone safe during the process. We want to thank our parents for being patient at the beginning,” said Selvey. “Once everyone has learned the routine our drop-off flows smoothly and we will have our pick-up line operating within a 20-minute time frame.”

The school has several upcoming events, including a cookie dough fundraiser on August 31 to raise money for student incentives.