Philosophy Statement:

We believe . . .

  • Education is a lifelong process and continuous improvement is a value we model and instill in our students.
  • Educational excellence is a collaborative process and is a shared responsibility of the student, the family, and the staff.
  • Educational experiences for students should be founded in the rigorous study of the academic disciplines. ·
  • Educational experiences for students should enable students to become effective communicators, independent learners, motivated critical thinkers, and innovators.
  • Our learning community should foster respect and understanding for every individual.
  • Our learning community should promote responsible citizenship.
  • Recruiting and retaining a high quality staff is vital to achieving our mission.
  • An involved and supportive community strengthens our school district.


Philosophy on Teaching Reading:

The Shippensburg Area School District’s philosophy on teaching reading values reading as the paramount skill that a child must master.  Early reading skills of letter and word identification/recognition provide a segue to fluent reading.  Our reading programs use a mix of basal readers and whole language approaches to teaching reading along with a plethora of support materials utilized within each classroom.  Our Title I program is a “reading improvement” program that serves students in small group settings.  Our Libraries/Media Centers support the district wide reading program by providing a literature rich environment and encouraging independent reading across the grade levels.  We welcome volunteers to read to or be read to by our elementary students and we are pleased that we have several reliable, dedicated adults who visit our elementary school weekly for this purpose.

With the new ELA standards, teachers are working constantly to re-align their practice with the new standards.  Student reading levels are assessed using the DIBELS program at the elementary level and adjustments are made accordingly.  Vocabulary development, reading comprehension, and writing skills are emphasized by teachers across the district in all courses.  “Word walls” can be found in many classrooms in the district, new vocabulary is introduced with new lessons, and “the word of the day” is announced on daily announcements in some schools.

Our ultimate goal in developing proficient readers is to create lifelong readers for both work and pleasure whether reading a hard copy of a book or reading an electronic version on a Nook.  Thomas Jefferson once said, “All a person really needs in life is a library and a garden.”  For all of the above reasons, reading is integrated into our district’s daily mission in all that we do.  It is the number one service we provide to our customers, our students.