Hutchison Beach Elementary

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Hutchison BeachHutchison Beach Elementary School Principal, Glenda Nouskhajian, has always believed her staff can offer students at our small school something they can’t find at larger public schools – a strong education with leadership qualities. Classroom teachers, instructional-support teachers, and our media specialist make a powerful team to educate our Beach students. Each educator brings a unique set of skills to the collaborative process of designing and implementing instruction, and jointly assessing the learning needs of our students and their academic growth. An integral part of the Hutchison Beach Elementary’s culture is based on Stephen Covey’s, “7 Leadership Habits”. The “Leader in Me’’ school environment requires students to set personal and academic goals, analyze their own data, and develop tangible plans to track and achieve them. Students are taught how their individual goals connect to the overall school goal making them feel a sense of ownership and pride in their work. By the end of the year, Beach students learn how to lead their own conferences with parents and articulate their progress and steps for improvement. Students carry these life skills with them to middle school and beyond.

Student-led clubs help to cultivate interests and life skills. You will find students staying after school to pursue activities in clubs such as; science, running, dance, cheer, K-Kids and Student Lighthouse. Students are responsible for pitching ideas with action plans to the principal for approval. In addition, this year we created a Boys on Leadership Team, which consists of 4th and 5th grade boys. This team was designed to teach boys basic life-long leadership skills. Also, students participate in character building and anti-bullying campaigns. Beach students enjoy a tradition of exceptional field trips that offer real-world learning opportunities and showcases S.T.E.M. careers including Sea World, St. Augustine, Science and Discovery Center, Zoo World and visits to unique local attractions like the E.O.Wilson Biophilia Center.

Our Library Media Center (LMC) is an extension of the classroom. Rich with print, electronic resources, and technologies, our LMC allows students to delve deeper into classroom subjects and topics of personal interest. Our Library Media Center is the heart of Beach Elementary. Imagine a place where all students feel welcome and are encouraged to grow and learn. That space is our LMC. Strong school library programs can make a huge difference in the lives of students. Students—especially those who, for whatever reason, feel marginalized—benefit from reading about people like themselves and about people who are very different. A powerful framework that has been used to build our library program is Rudine Sims Bishop’s metaphor, Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors. “Books are mirrors when readers see their own lives reflected in the pages. Books are windows when they allow readers a view of lives and stories that are different from their own. Books become sliding glass doors when readers feel transported into the world of the story and when they feel empathy for the characters.” At Beach, one of our missions is to provide our students with Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors.