Mountain View home to diverse student population

Posted: Monday, November 29, 2010

As the largest elementary school in the district, Mountain View Elementary School boasts a total enrollment of 456 students, and that number has been on a steady increase since the school combined with Sears Elementary in 2008. The school is one of only two elementary schools to employ an Assistant Principal.

"Miss Ann" reads to Mountain View Elementary students.

"Even with the diverse needs of a large student population, the school still has solid scores in terms of proficiency in both language arts and math," said Director of Curriculum Doris Cannon,

Eighty-six percent of Mountain View students are proficient in Language Arts, compared to the state average of 77 percent. In math a total of 78 percent of Mountain View students are proficient, compared to the state's average of 71.1 percent.

The elementary school provides a number of different educational opportunities to meet the needs of its large and varied school population. The school offers a full continuum of services for students with disabilities, and was among the first in the district to offer a pre-kindergarten program.

Collaborative teaching is a key component to Mountain View's success. Special Services Instructor Katie Pault and 5th grade Teacher Martine Dikes have been working together for about 10 years. Dikes explains how their collaborative instruction boosts the classroom's math instruction:

"It is a great way to reach all our kids and allow those who are struggling to be in the classroom during direct instruction.," Dikes said. "There are times that we both teach the lesson by 'bouncing off' each other, which allows students to get several different views on how to problem solve. Other times, we go through the lesson/activity and those struggling are pulled aside to work with Katie while I work with the rest of the class."

Mountain View is also supported by a multitude of community volunteers, like Ann Takata, fondly known to the kids as "Miss Ann." Takata has volunteered at Mountain View for more than six years. She shares her enthusiasm for literature and reads her favorite books with several different classrooms in the school. Her efforts have often sparked a new interest among the students who flock to the library to check out the books she has shared.

The school serves as a perfect venue for pilot programs. Two pilot programs at the school this year include a mentor teacher and the availability of counseling services.

The mentor teacher is a program that allows for a full time, seasoned primary teacher to work exclusively with new teachers. This is actually a district-wide initiative that will begin with Mountain View. The school will also have an elementary counselor beginning in December.

Through a combination of resources and important community partnerships, Mountain View offers a number of after-school clubs to fit a variety of interests and needs. Students may choose from archery, student council, forensics, jump rope, Girls Scouts, trash can ball, Girls/Boys Club, volleyball and Native Youth Olympics, offered at various times throughout the school year.

The newest after-school opportunity is Math Camp. Instructional team members Dave Daniel, Jeremy McKibben, Kevin Hilton and Angie Hamm-Brinkerhoff, created the camp in an effort to give students additional instructional time. Students are chosen based upon their SBA scores.

"We set a school goal to increase math scores this year, and this program was developed to increase math scores by providing additional instruction in a fun and engaging way," said Hamm-Brinkerhoff.

This article was provided by Kelly Reisig, spokesperson for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.

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