Adam Erbrecht, principal of Daniels Run Elementary School (DRES) and his staff set out with one goal this year; to be a positive difference in the lives of each of their students. With this goal in mind, the administration and staff at DRES created a School Improvement Plan that supports students and creates opportunities for all students to learn, grow and thrive.
Presenting to the City of Fairfax School Board on Monday, February 6, 2017, Principal Erbrecht highlighted student achievement, the new Innovation Space, the efforts to support students in need with Responsive Instruction and the Positivity Project.
“We’ve been working hard so we don’t leave any stone unturned for our students,” said Erbrecht. He showed pass rates for the Virginia Standards of Learning averages for his students: 83 percent in reading, 92 percent in math and 86 percent in science. In addition, Erbrecht was proud of his kindergartners who had a 92 percent achievement for reading goals.
DRES launched the Innovation Space this year. The Innovation Space is an independent classroom for all students to rotate throughout the school year to work on age appropriate challenges using everyday household items. The challenges are designed to encourage students to collaborate and think creatively all while solving complex problems. For example, Victoria Novak’s first grade class used cardboard tubes and pool noodles to identify shapes and create obstacles for the popular “America Ninja Warrior” (see profile of class in the Fairfax Connection).
Erbrecht also spoke of the partnership with the Positivity Project, a 501 c3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping America’s youth build stronger relationships by seeing the character strengths in themselves and others. The Positivity Project and DRES helps students to identify, appreciate and articulate character strengths in themselves and others. Assistant principal Valerie Hardy has seen a difference, “Having students see the strengths themselves and helping them zoom in on power, perseverance and commitment.”