Sparta elementary school recognized as a ‘Spotlight School’

A Sparta elementary school is getting some recognition for its success in the classroom.

A competitive grant program in the state selected Lawrence-Lawson elementary as a “Spotlight School.” It was chosen for a number of reasons including documented success in teaching and learning.

The school is opening its doors to educators across the state to share some of its best practices about student learning and achievement.

Seven teachers and a principal from Whitehall visited the school Tuesday. “So far, I’ve learned different games that students can play on the iPads that we didn’t know about in Whitehall. I’ve learned to add different things into the math curriculum like simple flash cards and things like that, that I didn’t do in my own classroom,” said 3rd grade teacher April Turk from Sunset elementary in Whitehall.

The idea is for the teachers to take what they learn during their visit and implement it at their own schools. “We’re really gearing it towards each individual district so they can leave and our hope is that they leave inspired and wanting to change things in their classrooms or make things stronger immediately,” said Lawrence-Lawson K-1 multi-age teacher and Spotlight program co-coordinator Jenny Banse.

The grant is worth $50,000 and covers all of the expenses of the visiting teachers.

Lawrence-Lawson also uses part of the money to give each visiting educator a bucket filled with educational materials based on the “bucket book theme” of treating people right.