Harrison Elementary School

Harrison Elementary School is located in Livingston, New Jersey. It is one of six elementary schools located in town. There are about 550 students spread out among 27 classes. The grade levels range from Kindergarten to 5th grade. All graduates continue on to Mt. Pleasant Middle School. The school, opened in 1929, was named after Amos W. Harrison who was a lifelong Livingston resident and a former President of the Board of Education.
Curriculum and academic departments
Harrison School runs in team levels. Every grade level is a team and the teachers and students work together. All of the teachers for each grade work together to be sure their students are getting the same education. There is a team for every grade K-5. Core curriculum includes mathematics, language arts literacy, social studies, and science.
The Core Content Specials includes art, music, physical education, and world languages. Children have the opportunity to participate in all of these classes.
Gifted and talented enrichments
The school provides gifted and talented opportunities for an identified population through a pull-out program. All students in grade 2-5 are considered during the month of September and parent consent is required for testing. The students will be identified starting from grade 2 by a process that includes district/state standardized tests, academic achievement as well as other multiple criteria. The student meet and participate in interest-based clusters beyond the regular curriculum. Examples of those clusters are Communicating with Lights, Investigative Journalism, Pond and Ocean Life, and Stock Market Game.
There are also school-wide enrichment opportunities for any students to participate in extra-curricular activities such as Academically Speaking, Forensics, and Law Fair/Law Adventure.
The school also provides gifted and talented opportunities in art and music for grades 4 and 5, for students who have talent in these departments, which run separately by the art and music departments. The program for gifted and talented in art is a before-school art program for an identified population which offers various art mediums for students to use and has many sketching assignments.
World language
The school introduces the Spanish language to the students starting from kindergarten. The school's world language program cites New Jersey World Languages Curriculum Framework for benefits of world language study in young children such as cognitive benefits, academic achievement, and development of positive attitudes toward cultural diversity. Students also have opportunities to use Spanish in school projects such as Symbolic Migration which encourages students in the US, Canada, and Mexico to interact about the annual migration of Monarch butterflies.
Other departments
Media center
The media center provides many books for the children to borrow and use. The librarian helps suggest ways to choose books, and works with children on projects related to reading and writing. Those include school-wide reading/writing projects such as Read Across America.
School counseling
The counseling program provides support for any child or family in need.
Student Services
Student Services helps parents connect and be involved with their special needs child’s education. The Department of Student Services includes a child study team, special education teachers, school counselors, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and assistants, aides and behaviorists. The goal of the Department is to provide a support of integrated services to any child with special needs.
Health office
The schools health office provides care for the students and does annual checks for scoliosis and lice. The health office performs health screenings for every child by checking height, weight, vision, hearing, and blood pressure. The school also has many health-related policies including sick child, medication and nutrition policies.
Extracurricular activities
Beside many activities offered as part of the co-curricular school-wide enrichment programs, PTA also organizes an after-school enrichment program called Kidz Klub. The program offers a variety of activities such as art, cooking, science, games, Lego building, and robotics. Students also take part in outside activities such as town-wide Junior FIRST LEGO League Expo and Imagine Mars exhibition.
The school also regularly organize night programs such as two-hour science nights with presenters from outside in science topics with hundreds of participating students and parents.
Awards and recognition
Harrison Elementary School was recognized by The Business Coalition for Educational Excellence (BCEE) for attaining high rates of student achievement. The school was listed in 2007 Just for the Kids — a list of 73 New Jersey Benchmark Schools. It was among 20 schools in New Jersey in the Proficient/Advanced Proficient benchmark for grade 4.
Harrison Elementary School participates in many academic competitions at county, interschool, state, and national levels. Highlights of the accomplishments are:
* Winners of New Jersey State Bar Foundation Mock Trial Competition for Grades 3 Through 6 in 1999, 2001, and 2009
* Finalist of 2009 Cray-Pas Wonderful, Colorful, World Contest
* Winner of The 2007 National Kids-in-Print Book Contest for Students
* A student was a winner of The Third Arts Olympiad and was selected to represent New Jersey in 2007 World Children's Festival
* Winners of 2004, 2006 and 2007 Reading Rainbow Annual Young Authors and Illustrators Contest
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