El Dorado Community School
2 Avenida Torreon , Santa Fe, New Mexico 87508
About El Dorado Community School
Grade Levels Served: K - 8
The mission of El Dorado Community School is to educate each child in an environment in which staff, students, parents, and the community are unified in the pursuit and application of the following:
- Skills to facilitate lifelong learning, critical thinking, and communication
- An atmosphere fostering responsibility, creativity, cooperation and enthusiasm for learning
- Recognition of differences in students’ learning styles and provision of relevant learning opportunities
- Development of emotional, social, mental and physical health of students
The school mission/vision is in the process of being redefined this school year.
Our School’s Operations and Functions:
El Dorado Community School has undergone a transformation from an elementary school to a Kindergarten school over the past several years. We are looking forward to having a facility that supports our new configuration— which we anticipate having at the end of our construction project. In the meantime, there have been many ‘firsts’ here—especially last spring, when the first group of students completed 8th grade at our school. While it has been challenging to let go of the elementary school identity, many staff are committed to bridging the gap between the Kindergarten to fifth grade and sixth through eighth grade worlds. Our school has provided opportunities for mentoring of younger students by our middle school students. We hope this year to have a school-wide literacy event that involves groups of students from all grade levels.
Academic programs at our school typically have hands-on components as well as project-based learning. Our sixth grade recently held the “Ancient Egyptian Wax Museum” in our big gym—where students demonstrated their knowledge of a historical figure in a dramatic presentation to the visitors to the ‘museum.’ The fourth grade team does an Ellis Island simulation day—another example of project-based learning.
Electives include general music, orchestra, band, chorus, art, technology and PE. Our fifth grade students are doing an elective wheel this year (for the music electives) so that they will be better able to choose their music elective in sixth grade.
As a result of a partnership with the El Dorado Community Garden, our school has a developing ‘green’ identity that culminates each spring in the “Fiesta Verde.” This fall, master gardeners from our community worked with students in art classes to use materials from the garden in art. Garden guides are available to work with classroom teachers in our garden, which serves as an outdoor classroom. The garden recently added a shed and anticipates the building of a greenhouse, so that work in the garden/outdoor classroom can continue throughout the school year, even when temperatures are colder.
Why Our School is Unique:
This school is fortunate to have an incredible network of support from the greater El Dorado area community—that comes together to help our kids learn and grow. It seems that volunteerism and activism are hobbies of many people who live in this area. When a need is expressed, there is usually someone who is able to find the resources to help. This school community is incredibly self-sufficient—sometimes to a fault…but it is also out of necessity.
We have an extremely involved parent community. Our PTA has a Memorandum of Understanding with SFPS that has allowed them to develop and operate an after school enrichment program, which was piloted in spring 2010 and continues this school year. This program provides academic support to students in need along with a huge variety of enrichment activities for a six-week session (implemented as four sessions over the course of the school year.) We have many parent and community volunteers who volunteer directly in classrooms or with school-wide events such as the Fun Run, Halloween Carnival, and Fiesta Verde. The PTA Board meets once a month as a leadership group (with the site principal) to plan. An offshoot of the Board is the Community Support Program, which is a way for local businesses to donate once per year to the El Dorado PTA and then become a community sponsor. Currently, PTA funds are mainly used to fund the After School Enrichment Program.
A separate extracurricular program that is science-based is Project GUTS, that meets weekly and is sponsored by our seventh and eighth grade science teacher. Two teachers also are the yearbook sponsors. We also have an active Student Council. This year we are working on implementing Restorative Justice through an art elective—as a leadership class. School Health Advisory Council—this new parent group is being spearheaded by our school nurse. This group is working on school-wide health and wellness issues. Many of these parents are volunteering during our lunch/recess time to support healthier eating and recreation at our school.
For SY 2009-10
Our Teacher and School Awards and Accomplishments:
Our PTA received an award/recognition from the National PTA organization for the PTA After School Enrichment Program in spring 2010. Our school had a "Teacher Who Inspires" award that was given to Barbara McDonald (second grade teacher) in spring 2010. We have a number of other teachers who have received this award in the past. We also have a number of teachers who have their National Board Certification. Several other teachers completed the National Board Certification process last year and are awaiting results. Several teachers are going through the board certification process this year.
Our Student Achievement Awards:
- We have an awards ceremony that recognizes student achievement and attendance.
- Our school also has an extensive science fair where students are recognized for their scientific accomplishments.
- Students here receive reading awards for participation in the PTA Summer Reading Program. This year, students are being honored during National Reading Week for their accomplishments from summer 2010.
- We participate in the county spelling bee as well.
- The PTA After School Enrichment Program subsidizes the after school program for all students—a form of scholarship and provides more support for parents in need (on a case by case basis.)
Our Student Athletic Awards:
Our school has several sports teams, including 7th and 8th grade girls’ volleyball, seventh and eighth grade girls’ basketball, boys’ football (at DeVargas or Capshaw), seventh and eighth grade boys’ basketball. We also have a number of Santa Fe Independent Youth League teams that are ‘El Dorado Dust Devils.’
In Running Club, students were recognized for the number of miles they ran throughout the year.
The Fun Run has awards for students who ‘win’ in their age category along with participation awards.
Our Other Accomplishments:
There is a literacy discussion group that is teacher-driven and that meets quarterly to discuss strategies such as CELL, Step Up to Writing, the Daily CAFÉ, 6 Traits Writing, and Debby Miller strategies. This group functions as a teacher support network as well.