"Everyone is looking out for all students," Principal Sheryl Jordan said. "We want the best for them."
Staunton has 84.2 percent of its students passing the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress Plus exam (ISTEP+), with a state average of 73.7 percent. Jordan and her staff are very proud of the students.
"Our fourth-grade had 98 percent pass in math," she said. "There are only a handful of schools that achieve it, so we are very proud."
Jordan believes that the implementation of Response To Intervention (RTI) has helped students meet their achievements.
Teachers have taken a proactive approach with remediation.
"Results from the ISTEP+ and NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association) are being used when placing students into remediation groups," she said. "When the remediation is taking place, a certified teacher is covering the class."
Teachers are working with the test results and learning the needs of the students.
"The students have done very well," she said. "We are making sure that grade level standards are being met so students can advance without problems."
Staunton Elementary has participated for approximately 15 years in Indiana State University's Professional Development School.
"This is a wonderful program that allows teachers to see the new ideas coming out of the university," Jordan said. "It also allows future teachers hands-on experience."
Staunton students also participate in the Positive Behavior Support program. There theme is much like their goal, make a difference.
"We look at the positives in student behavior, instead of discipline," she said. "We are teaching students to go beyond being respectful, responsible, safe and a learner."
Students are nominated by anyone working in the school, and their picture is placed on the making a difference board. At the end of each semester, students were recognized doing their part to make a difference. Students can then make an ice cream sundae.
Not only are the students making a difference in their school, but also in the community. The recycling program began in October 2008, and Jordan confirmed plans are set to continue the program in the fall.
Students also support the Staunton Food Pantry.
"The student council sponsors the food drive and the students really enjoy supporting it," she said.
Jordan thanked the PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) for all of their work.
"They worked to collect signatures for the building project and they provide small gifts at the end of the six-weeks as incentives," she said. "They are a wonderful group to work with and we appreciate them."
She also said the parent volunteers who donate their time on a regular basis are key.
"We have parents that come in weekly and they are willing to do anything we ask them to do," she said. "It is really great."
Jordan believes the success of the students and the school year was based on the supportive staff making sure students succeed.
"On the last day of school, our teachers were actually excited about next year," she said. "Everyone is instrumental in making our school a success, they are very dedicated to making us successful."
Two teachers retired from Staunton at the end of this past school year, Viviane Edwards taught with Clay Community Schools for 25 years and Cynthia Haseman for 30 years.
"It was a positive year for everyone. Everyone enjoys being here," she said. "I hated to see the year end."