EL Education is a comprehensive school reform and school development model that supports teachers, students, school leaders, families, and other partners work in concert to promote five core practices—learning expeditions, active pedagogy, school culture and character, leadership and school improvement, and structures—to promote high achievement through active learning, character growth, and teamwork.
“Campbell’s adaptation of EL design principles and the school’s emphasis on social/emotional development alongside academic achievement helps kids along the path toward positive community engagement as well as individual growth.” – Campbell Parent
Our mission is to provide a respectful community where all children are
celebrated and encouraged to achieve and grow.
At Campbell School, we challenge one another to think critically and take active roles in our mutual learning. We strive to make meaningful contributions to our diverse community based on our learning. Students demonstrate learning not only through assessments, but also through rich tasks, projects, field work, reflection and exhibition showcases. Trust, respect, responsibility and joy in learning are at the heart of our school culture.
We at Campbell School pledge that we will be a respectful, helpful and responsible community of learners. We embrace our diversity.
The Campbell Way
Students learn a song which includes all ten principles, which they frequently sing at our Community Meetings.
Student recording of The Campbell Way song:
Campbell Elementary School, a Title I school, is one of 32 public schools and eight Title I Elementary Schools in Arlington County, Virginia. Arlington Public Schools (APS), the 13th largest school district in Virginia, serves the families of Arlington County which is located across the Potomac River from the District of Columbia.
Arlington Public Schools (APS) is a diverse school system with a greater density of Limited English Proficient (LEP) students residing in the southern part of the county where more affordable, multi-family residences are available. As a result, all Title I elementary schools, including Campbell, are located in the southern part of the county. The charts above and below reflect the varying between the demographics of Title I schools, including Campbell, and the greater APS system. Click graph for larger view.
Although located in South Arlington and serving a larger proportion of the population in the surrounding geographic area, Campbell Elementary is a public countywide option school that currently serves 441 students and families seeking an alternative to more traditional neighborhood schools. As an option school, families must apply to have their children attend Campbell wherever they reside in the county. Our families select Campbell for a myriad of reasons including EL Education, our cultural values, looping, and our outdoor learning focus. The looping configuration allows for staff to teach students for two consecutive years K/1, 2/3, and 4/5.
Campbell opened its doors in 1994 as Claremont Early Childhood Center. At that time, the school served students PreK-2 and drew from only surrounding south Arlington schools. Students were assigned to multi-age; grade K-2 classrooms and PreK special education. Montessori students were served as well in PreK and Kindergarten classrooms. The school focused at that time on instruction tied to thematic units and fully included special education and Limited English Proficient (LEP) students. As Arlington Public Schools experienced an increase in student enrollment, Claremont Early Childhood Center expanded into a PreK-5 elementary school. In 2000, the school was renamed Campbell Elementary School. Edmund and Elizabeth Campbell were local advocates for principles that the school community held dear: desegregation, inclusion of students with disabilities, and early education.
The school opened in its current location on Carlin Springs Road in 2002 and began transforming the school grounds. In 2007, Campbell joined the EL Education network of schools and moved to a looping model due to the need for increased instructional rigor and state accountability.
Campbell, in remaining true to our beginnings, offers a student-centered, hands-on, inclusive, and collaborative learning environment for all children. The looping configuration allows for staff and students to develop relationships across two years. The instruction of LEP and students with disabilities is successful because of the ongoing collaborative effort between highly qualified team members. These staff tailor instruction and utilize research based interventions to meet students’ individual needs. In addition to our K-5 students, Campbell offers three Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) classes to eligible four-year-old students, and the countywide Interlude program. The Virginia Preschool Initiative is a free PreK program with a curriculum that is research-based, focuses on the development of literacy and math skills, and builds social-emotional foundations for lifetime learning.
Campbell has an outdoor learning focus in which students learn through planting vegetables, preparing organic foods, and building comfort in nature. The school’s Outdoor Garden Coordinator works closely with classroom teachers to integrate Virginia Standard of Learning (SOL) objectives into the outdoor lessons. In addition, the school’s alternate report card highlights a student’s academic progress, habits as a learner, and social/personal responsibility. Student-led conferences allow students to share their learning as documented in their portfolios. Campbell staff implement Responsive Classroom techniques, and a daily morning meeting builds relationships and fosters a safe and supportive environment. The weekly school-wide student led Community Meeting gives our entire school community, including parents, the chance to come together and celebrate learning. These components of our school have resulted in overall staff, student, and parent satisfaction as evidenced by APS survey results.
In 2017, APS conducted the site-based survey which allowed families, students, and staff share school-level feedback on issues ranging from school climate to instruction and teacher expectations. The results of this data show that overall, on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the highest, parents, students, and staff at Campbell reported a higher level of satisfaction than their counterparts at other elementary schools or district wide.
Campbell EL Implementation Review
As an EL Education school, Campbell staff participates in the annual EL Implementation Review as a means to reflect upon our current practices. The data gathered from these reviews guides our work plans and helps us strengthen our instructional practices.
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