School: Nathan Hale Elementary School
Location: Roxbury, Massachusetts
No. of Students in School: 200
Teacher: Jonathan Holden
No. of Years Teaching: 2
Grade: 4th Grade
Subject: Language Arts
No. of Students in the Classroom: 19
Appearances can be deceiving. Built in 1909, Nathan Hale Elementary School, when viewed from the outside, hardly looks like the center of academic energy and the commitment to excellence it is. The school has served youngsters in the surrounding Roxbury neighborhood (near Dudley Square where Martin Luther King worked and Malcolm X lived) for 93 years and appears well-used. However, walls covered with student work, flowers in public spaces, and the cheerful hum of contented children signal an energy and engagement that belies the sometimes age-weary appearance of the structure itself. Although most of the children at Nathan Hale arrive with the challenge of limited experiences with traditional academic literacies (85% qualify for free/reduced-price lunch), the faculty and staff are committed to providing them a solid academic and personal foundation before sending them on to middle school.
Reading and writing are at the core of every classroom. Students experience shared reading and writing, reading aloud, interactive writing, guided reading, and writer's workshop. Every day ends with DEAR (Drop Everything and Read). In addition, teachers are trained in the early literacy learning initiative (MONDO/BEL) approach to teaching, reading, and writing.
Again, in contrast with its physical plant, Nathan Hale is
committed to offering students experience with up-to-date technology.
With the best student-to-computer ratio in the district, students
have daily exposure to computer technology as a learning tool
from kindergarten on. As they get older, they have access to
the Internet. For more information on the school, visit this
Public Schools site.