Where Children Come First
Although Turkey Hill School (THS) is in close proximity to the Yale New Haven area and reaps the benefits from the resources the city offers, it is securely tucked away in a serene setting in historic Orange, Connecticut. It is not uncommon for visitors to the school to have to slow down on the winding driveway to allow a family of deer or a flock of wild turkeys to cross from the pond area to the wide-open fields before retreating into the woodlands. It's the shiny new playgrounds that lead one to the realization that the property houses an elementary school.
Rich in history and tradition, Turkey Hill School was built in 1964 and serves approximately 320 students in grades one through six. The idyllic setting at THS is symbolic of the significant core values that are the premise for the school's mission; one that fosters caring, responsibility and respect for others. An active Student Council organizes and engages students in numerous community service projects and the Project Wisdom Character Education program contributes to the positive culture within our school.At THS we believe that all children can and will learn when their environment is conducive to the construction of knowledge.
Our school views student achievement as a shared responsibility. Leadership and decision-making is a primary component of the school's collaborative culture. All members of the school community are invited to play a role in determining the direction of the school and in understanding the impetus for change by serving on leadership teams and committees. The School Success Team, Crisis/Safety Intervention Team, Grade Level Team Leaders, and various Curriculum Committees work hand in hand to move THS forward.
THS benefits from a strong and supportive PTA and Fathers' Club, organizations that accept and share the responsibility of educating ALL students. Beyond their fundraising efforts, the parent organizations work to improve effective communication between the school and families and plan and organize a multitude of events that support the education of our students both within and beyond the school day including: Book Fairs, Art Goes to School, Cultural Arts Presentations, and Artists and Authors in Residence.
A strong professional community, comprised of highly qualified and dedicated educators is yet another key ingredient to Turkey Hill School's success. Teachers and support staff are committed to providing a quality education to ALL students. During the 2011-2012 school year, THS will continue to focus its efforts on developing a "professional learning community", one that is built upon the principles of process and collaboration among teachers and administrators in an effort to improve student achievement. The emphasis will be on using student work and performance data as the basis for differentiated instruction and continuous improvement of learning for ALL students.
Students at Turkey Hill School are challenged with a curriculum requiring high expectations for them to be actively engaged in their learning. In child-centered classrooms, teachers utilize a balanced approach, helping children become readers and writers who enjoy and value literacy. Our math programs help students to deepen their mathematical understanding by presenting concepts in the context of real-life problem- solving situations. The new science program promotes active learning through an experiential and inquiry-based approach. Foreign Language begins in first grade in Orange and focuses on Spanish culture and linguistics. The arts, technology and media work collaboratively to support the content areas and enrich, while physical education classes provide a well-rounded program of fitness and wellness.
Academically, the THS core values support the equity and excellence for ALL students. Classes are filled with students who have a wide range of learning needs. Teachers realize that a "one-size-fits-all" approach to teaching and learning does not lead to a full range of genuinely challenged and engaged learners, and have discovered that they can better meet the needs of their students by differentiating instruction. Students who have been identified as gifted and talented receive services through the Learning Enrichment Activities Program (LEAP).
Members of the THS staff have been trained in the Differentiated Instruction, which affords them the opportunity to expose all students to tiered enrichment activities. THS takes steps early in the school year to proactively screen children for performance in the area of early literacy. Identified students receive focused intervention in addition to their classroom program. Students requiring supplementary support are able to receive additional instruction both in and out of the classroom from our reading and math tutors and reading consultant. Those learners that require special education services receive an individualized education plan from highly qualified teachers in a variety of settings within the school. Turkey Hill School is a place where children grow, learn and develop.
We celebrate diversity and develop strong partnerships to work together for the safety, benefit and success of all our students. Our academic environment is challenging, yet nurturing and individualized. Turkey Hill School is a special place where children come first and everyone works together to achieve more.