Cornell Elementary School

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Our School » About Our School

About Our School

The strength of our school lies with our staff who are knowledgeable, thoughtful and caring, and who share the belief that all students can learn. Our teaching faculty of fully credentialed, highly qualified, and Cross-Cultural Language and Academic Development (CLAD) certified teachers offer a core academic curriculum based on California State Standards, and they collaborate regularly to produce a focused approach to their instruction. Their efforts are reflected in their students’ performance on the California Standards Test (CST). 2010-2011 Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) results report 80% of Cornell students are proficient or advanced in English Language Arts, and 87% of students are proficient or advanced in Math, school-wide. In addition, our Academic Performance Index (API) is 918.

Currently, 590 students are enrolled at Cornell in grades K-5, with 22 general education classrooms and one Special Day Classroom. The 22 general education classrooms have a teacher to student ratio of no greater than 26:1. The 7 intermediate classrooms (4th and 5th grades) have ratios of no greater than 31:1. Additional teachers and staff serve students in need of reading and math intervention, English Language Development Instruction, Speech and Language Therapy, Special Education Resource Instruction, Adaptive Physical Education, Occupational Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling Services. Students also participate in music, physical education, science, and library classes, all taught by specialists. These specialists provide instruction that enhances the classroom curriculum. To serve the large English Language Learner population, our two ELD Specialists offer EL students extensive support with language acquisition through push-in and pull-out programs. Our Reading Intervention Specialist works with small groups of students to support students with their reading and writing development.

Our school is made up of a diverse student body, with 29 different languages spoken. These langauges include: Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi, Mongolian, Korean, Japanese, German, Spanish, Hindi, Tamil, Nepali, Vietnamese, Thai, Bulgarian, Italian, Tagalog, Bangla, Arabic, Ahmeric, Hungarian, Portuguese, Farsi, Urdu, Russian, Hebrew, French, Cambodian, Tibetan, and English. This offers our students the opportunity to enage in rich cultural discussions that foster an appreciation for diversity. 30% of our students are English Language Learners. About 20% percent of our students participate in the Free or Reduced Lunch program and are considered Socially-Economically Disadvantaged. On a 2011 STAR survey regarding parent education, 81% of those who responded indicated they are college graduates.

Our teaching faculty, staff, and parents are committed to providing an educational program in which the school's resources and services are effectively coordinated to meet the needs of all students. Through the SST/IEP process, we identify students who have special needs, and then determine specific strategies that will best support their academic, social, and emotional growth. The staff provides students with a curriculum that is rigorous, meaningful, relevant, and allows students to develop their critical thinking skills. Instruction is driven by California State Standards and our district's essential standards, and all students are making progress towards mastery of them. Cornell teachers differentiate their instruction to meet the individual learning needs of their students. Recognizing the need to focus on the whole child, our teaching faculty provides learning experiences which foster students' social/emotional growth as well as develop their communication and collaboration skills.

Our Leadership Team includes the Principal, a classroom teacher from each grade level, and a specialist. The roles and responsibilities of the group are to:
  • Serve as instructional leaders in order to help us best serve our students
  • Determine the priority list for our meetings & help plan them
  • Bring issues from staff for discussion and disseminate information
  • Integrate the site plan and strategic plan into our work
  • Provide direction on site-based professional development
  • Help us maintain our focus on integrating the Professional Learning Community (PLC) model into our work.

We value and enjoy a high level of parent and community involvement at Cornell. This partnership between the school, Cornell families, and our community allows us to effectively support our students, staff, and instructional programs. Two key volunteer groups are the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) and School Site Council. Cornell PTA supports a number of our instructional programs as well as enrichment activities. The PTA offers parent education nights, funds our supplemental program, hosts community building events, and coordinates many fundraising activities. Our School Site Council discusses our students’ achievement, helps monitor the implementation of our site plan, approves categorical budgets, and evaluates our instructional programs. There are many other opportunities for parental involvement, and our school community benefits greatly from the support and assistance provided by parent volunteers.

We also offer a fee-based enrichment program to students during the Early Bird and Late Bird reading periods in 1st through 3rd grades. Some enrichment classes offered include: Spanish, Vocal Music, Guitar, World Percussion, Drama, and Chess. In addition, we offer an after-school childcare program focused on Chinese language and culture, which provides these K-5th grade students rich cultural and academic learning experiences.