Madawaska Elementary School is a pre-kindergarten to grade six elementary schools with 220 students, a 44% free and reduced lunch rate, and a 14% special education population. This beautiful school is located atop a hill in rural Madawaska, Maine and is a true gem in the community.
Upon walking into this lovely school you see multiple hang lights that look like they belong in a home rather than in an elementary school. This is just part of the comfortable learning atmosphere that Principal Ben Sirois and his staff (22 teachers, 1 guidance counselor, and 7 educational technicians) have worked hard to create.
Technology abounds at Madawaska Elementary. Students in kindergarten through grade two have 1:1 iPads, students in grades three and four have a 2:1 ration and students in grades five and six have 1:1 as well. Walking around each of the wings of the school you see that all of the students are actively engaged in their learning.
In talking to Mr. Sirois, he explained that RtI is done a little different in his school. There is a 30-minute block of Literacy Intervention that takes place daily, but it is how math is taught that is extremely interesting. From 11:00-12:00 every day, 100% of the school teaches math. The staff created “Power Math,” to meet the math goals for all students in the school. Using the five domains of math, the staff identified each of the learning targets that students need to know and be able to demonstrate by the time they leave Madawaska Elementary. Students take the NWEA and based on those initial results are divided up by what targets they have mastered already and, more importantly, what they need. During the “Power Math” hour, the students change rooms to whoever is teaching the target they are on. Once they demonstrate mastery of that target, the student moves on to the room where the next target is being taught. Domains are changed on a monthly basis and after the fifth domain concludes, they begin all over again. This allows students to learn at their pace.
When asked what makes his school great, Mr. Sirois easily responded with “We have GREAT kids. The students are incredible and we are all very proud of how hard they work.”
If anyone is interested in seeing how performance based targets are being taught at the elementary level, I highly encourage you to contact Ben Sirois at Madawaska Elementary!
Contact: Madawaska Elementary School, 353 Eleventh Ave, Madawaska, ME 04756 (207)728-3635