Enfield Station School is a PreK – 5 elementary school in Enfield, Maine. There are 260 students taught by 24 teachers and eight educational technicians. Enfield Station has a 62% free and reduced lunch rate – which qualifies 100% of the school to receive free breakfast and lunch every day – and they serve a 20.5% special education population.
When asked, what makes your school great, Principal Kelley Weiss says, “It’s the people. The staff and community are so very supportive of the school and the kids. It’s all about the kids.” This is very clear as you walk around this school.
One of the built-in murals is of “Enfield Station School – before the school.” The land belonged to Galen Cole, founder of the Maine Transportation Museum. Mr. Cole donated the land to have the school built over 25 years ago. Many local artists donated original pieces of art that is hung throughout the school. In between the artists’ pieces you find the walls covered in colorful student art. Almost all of the artwork on the wall is connected to something the students are learning in other classes: penguins from kindergarten, sharks in another grade, but nothing is more prevalent than how the school embraces positive student behavior.
Julia and Emilee, two fifth grade students at Enfield Station School, provided me with a tour of their school. Throughout the building there are pictures of students who have earned “Get Positive Action Tickets.” Students earn tickets for being caught demonstrating the school’s core values. When students earn 5 tickets they are part of a group picture with Mrs. Weiss and after 10 tickets, they get their picture taken and have the ability to hang their picture anywhere in the building. There are also graphs and other visuals around that school that map the students’ progress towards positive behavior. For example, there is a chart by the office that demonstrates how many tickets have been given to all ESS students. There are benchmarks noted on this graph for the entire student body to earn a special recess or a movie afternoon!
A giant paintbrush is located outside the door of one classroom. This is awarded to one PreK-4 class that demonstrated the best behavior in art class for the week. Free art classes and library time are also earned by the students for demonstrating good behavior.
Not only do you see student artwork around the building, you also see student writing. Using the Lucy Caulkins’ writing program, the teacher display student writing on walls inside and outside of the classrooms. It’s important for the students to demonstrate to all who enter their school what they are learning.
The teachers have the opportunity to meet three times per week for 40 minutes during specials to plan together. Many of the grades have the opportunity for flexible grouping and depending on the grade determines if they switch classes for ELA, math, and/or science. This flexible grouping allows for the students’ needs to be met. This has proven to be successful and the goal is to increase the common planning time to four times per week next year.
When asked, what makes your school great, Emilee immediately responded, “The kids that go here – everyone is nice and friendly and the teachers make it fun.”
Julia replied, “I don’t know. I can’t pick just one, I love the whole thing!”
Enfield Station School, 561 Hammett Road, Enfield, ME 04493 207-732-4141