Debbie Whitney, Principal
Grade level: K–5
Free and Reduced Meals: 93.3%
Year school began to implement innovative practices: 2013
We have high expectations for all staff and students at Garfield Elementary. Garfield has 178 limited English learners, 89% Hispanic, and nearly 100% of our students qualify for free or reduced lunch. We engage our students at a young age to build confidence, grow interest, and put them on course for strong accomplishments in middle school, high school, and beyond.
In 2013 – 2014 Garfield was chosen to become one of forty elementary schools across the nation to pilot Project Lead the Way (PLTW K-5 STEM). PLTW is a comprehensive approach to STEM education. Students’ learn through activities, projects, and problem-based curriculum. Our students apply what they know, identify problems, find unique solutions, and lead their own learning. Our teachers have been given engaging, rigorous professional development to empower students and transform their classroom into a collaboration space where content comes to life.
Our students benefit from the many partnerships and mentoring opportunities we’ve developed. In 2015 – 2016 we implemented two Bio medic units at each grade level and our kindergarten has a partnership with Heritage College Bio Medical Department. Students visit the college, meet college students, and experience bio-medical interactive centers. Toppenish high school students are programing mentors to 4th & 5th grade students during Robotics units.
Our principal is a Guided Language Acquisition Design (GLAD) Key Trainer. She and our instructional coach lead teachers in professional development for working with English Language Learners. We infuse every PLTW unit with GLAD strategies. Garfield has also dedicated four GLAD professional development nights per year where teams or individual teachers can review strategies, refine units, and share ideas with K-5 staff and the principal.