r Students and staff from Foothills Elementary School in Salem recently showcased some of the programs and activities happening at the school for members of the Nebo School District Board of Education.
“I am so blessed and privileged to work with great people at Foothills. There would never be enough time to share all the great things teachers, staff and parents are doing every day to help students, so I decided to focus on two that show how acting on a passion can provide opportunities for students to stretch themselves in ways they never imagined,” said Foothills Principal Keri Huntsman.
“Mrs. Roberts is an accomplished violinist and acted on a desire to use violins to help teach her students,” Huntsman said. “Through generous grants, including the Nebo Education Foundation, Mrs. Roberts was able to purchase a violin for each student. The students play for a few minutes each day.”
The arts are a critical part of education. Foothills teacher Pamela Roberts said, “My third-grade class loves to play the violin. Knowing that they get to do something that they love each day motivates every student to come to school.”
Huntsman introduced Angela Lowe, a parent who is new to Foothills this year. “Angie came to me last year when they knew they were moving into the area and asked about starting a ballroom dance program. After doing some research and attending a competition, I decided to give it a try,” Huntsman said. “Angie teaches two classes, one for fourth-graders to learn the beginning dance principles and steps. She teaches another class for fifth- and sixth-graders to prepare them to compete.”
The Nebo board was enchanted with students performing ballroom dance at the elementary level. Angie Lowe has extensive knowledge of ballroom technique. Her objective for her students is to teach them far beyond steps and music. The goal of the program at Foothills is to provide social dance instruction for children in a positive, friendly and fun atmosphere. She believes this type of instruction builds self-esteem and confidence. Through partnered ballroom dance movement, children learn mutual respect and social skills useful throughout their lives. The students competed against other elementary schools at Timpanogos High School on Jan. 21, with the two teams taking Gold and Silver. The trophies are almost as tall as the students.
Lowe is most proud of the students winning the Sportsmanship Award. She said, “They were one of the most respectful kids there. I had so many parents from other schools compliment them because of it. It is very apparent we have some amazing kids.”
Principal Huntsman introduced her School Community Council co-chair Angie Snow and said, “I love working with my School Community Council parents and teachers.”
“The SCC enjoys meeting together every month. During our time together we go over our School Improvement Plan, analyze and discuss safety issues, and examine the needs of our teachers, students and families,” said Angie Snow. “The Trustlands funds are critical to the success we are seeing in our school. With those funds we have been able to involve more children with reading interventions such as Nebo Plus, Early Literacy and Imagine Learning. We have also been able to help more children take advantage of math tools such as ALEKS and Successmaker. Our school has been able to purchase additional licenses for Successmaker across multiple grade levels and that has been a great supplement the Math program that we are already using.”
One of the SCC goals was to obtain more Chromebooks. As technology continues to be of growing importance, the SCC wants to ensure that teachers are able to take advantage of the abundance of information and programs available online. Chromebooks have been vital in the classroom.