Our Focus

Responsive Classroom is a research-based education approach associated with greater teacher effectiveness, higher student achievement, and improved school climate. Responsive Classroom practice help educators build competencies in four key domains - each of which enables and enriches the others:

  • Engaging Academics - Teachers create learning tasks that are active, interactive, appropriately challenging, purposeful, and connected to students' interests.
  • Positive Community - Teachers nurture a sense of belonging, significance, and emotional safety so that students feel comfortable taking risks and working with a variety of peers.
  • Effective Management - Teachers create a calm, orderly environment that promotes autonomy and allows students to focus on learning.
  • Developmental Awareness - Teachers use knowledge of child development, along with observations of students, to create a developmentally appropriate learning environment.

Teachers who use the Responsive Classroom approach understand that all of children's needs - academic, social, emotional, and physical - are important. The teacher creates an environment that responds to all of those needs so that your child can do his or her best learning.

  1. The social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.
  2. How children learn is as important as what children learn.
  3. The greatest cognitive growth occurs during social interaction.
  4. There is a set of social skills that children need to learn and practice in order to be successful.
  5. CARES: cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, self-control.
  6. We must know our children individually, culturally, and developmentally.
  7. Knowing the families of the children we teach is as important as knowing the children.
  8. Teachers and administrators must model the social and academic skills that they wish to teach their students.

Gifted Program

Dr. Howard has offered a gifted program for second through fifth graders since its inception over twenty years ago. Our accelerated curriculum affords students in this program the opportunity to delve deeper and approach subject matter in novel ways. Screenings for this program are held yearly through the District.

Technology

  • Each classroom has a SMART Board and a document camera. Kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms have a class set of Chromebooks and each room has 4 iPads. All students in grade 3rd, 4th, and 5th have their own Chromebooks to use throughout the day. The building is a completely wireless environment providing students access to cutting edge technology.

Support Programs

A wide variety of support programs at Dr. Howard are available to meet individual student needs.

  • A school social worker, speech pathologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, and school psychologist provide services for eligible students with special needs. Students who need additional support in reading and math are offered the services of an interventionist.
  • Mentoring programs are available through C-U One-to-One Mentoring.
  • America Reads offers tutoring from students at the University of Illinois.
  • Enrichment activities that are engaging and interactive are offered to all students at Dr. Howard within the general classroom.
  • An RTI (Response to Intervention) team is in place to offer students, staff, and families assistance and support in our school.

Parent - Teacher Association

The Dr. Howard PTA coordinates social activities and supports and oversees school projects.

  • Back to School Night
  • Sponsors Dr. Howard book fairs
  • Supports the school through the purchase of equipment and materials
  • Provides teachers grants to support their work in the classroom
  • PTA-sponsored after school clubs