It’s All About Security And Success
At Jane Ball Elementary traditional summer school is a thing of the past. Preparing students to succeed takes center stage during Jump Start. “It’s really about building confidence in children and setting them on a successful path,” says Jane Ball Principal Deborah Snedden.
For the first time Jane Ball and Lincoln Elementary have merged their Jump Start programs, with a total of 60 students learning that success it possible. Classes began on July 27th and will run through August 7th. Three hours of classroom instruction is evenly divided between math and literacy with six teachers and 3 aides on hand to review what students learned last year and light the spark of natural motivation in children.
“For teachers, the ultimate goal is to instill a feeling of security and a sense that success is achievable in the upcoming school year,” said Snedden, who works hard with her teachers and aides to ensure there is no fear on the first day of school.
The program is particularly effective for new incoming kindergarten students who may or may not have had any exposure to structured learning. “They become the experts on the first day of school,” said Snedden. “They’re prepared and become leaders.”
This year, with a little extra coordination by Snedden, the Jump Start program is able to reap the rewards of an in-service ‘Math Inquiry Workshop’ with the Purdue University Math Department. Sixteen teachers from Jane Ball and Lincoln are participating along with teachers from Merrillville and Lake Central which will focus on grades 3-5 this week, before moving to Merrillville next week for grades k-2. “Sometimes when teachers attend a workshop they aren’t able to put into practice the skills they learn without considerable lag time,” said Snedden. “For our teachers they can come in the next day, while the Purdue staff is here, and take the skills straight to the Jump Start classroom.”
Coordination of the two important education opportunities results in first class instruction for Hanover elementary students and has a lasting impact on the resiliency that makes academic success available for all students.
Deborah Snedden has been the Principal at Jane Ball Elementary School since the beginning of the 2013-2014 academic year. Mrs. Snedden is a native of Crete, Illinois with a special tie to Cedar Lake. Her husband, Mark Snedden, is a former Hanover alumni. They are the parents of a blended family of seven and currently reside in Crown Point.
Prior to becoming the Principal of Jane Ball, Mrs. Snedden served as the Curriculum Director at Hammond Academy of Science and Technology, following fifteen years of teaching in the Crown Point schools. She is a graduate of Crete-Monee High School with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Purdue Calumet and a Master’s in Educational Administration from Ball State. Mrs. Snedden has been a presenter at professional development workshops and has worked with the Education Department at Purdue Calumet to bring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning to life at Jane Ball.
As she walks through the halls of Jane Ball the students smile and high five’s are the norm rather than the exception. “I’m here to make sure these kids are 21st century learners. What they’ll need to know to succeed in life starts right here,” said Snedden. “I have a passion for collaborating with students, teachers and parents.”