• Programs – Beyond the Basics

    Realizing that each child comes to school with an inquisitive mind and an innate desire to learn, the Robert J. Burch Elementary School community strives to provide positive learning experiences for all students.
    It is our desire to provide a student-focused environment which includes:

    • A warm and supportive climate which encourages individuality and the development of self-esteem.
    • Academic experiences which foster in students a continued love for learning and desire for exploration.
    • A curriculum that is developmentally appropriate which emphasizes manipulatives, hands-on and minds-on learning activities, and stresses creative problem solving.
    • An emphasis on cooperative learning methodology which also encourages cooperation among the home, school, and community.

    That is why, at Robert J. Burch Elementary School, we have gone “Beyond the Basics” to bring each and every child the best programs, taught to them by the best teachers and designed specifically to meet the needs of each child individually.

    Special Programs Available at Burch

    4-H Early Intervention Program
    Academic Camp English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
    Art Gifted Program
    Collaborative Instruction & Inclusion Morning Broadcast
    Computer Lab Music
    Cooperative Learning Reading Program
    Cultural Arts Running Club
    Drug Awareness Resistance Program (DARE) Science Olympiad
      Title 1

    The Fayette County 4-H Program is dedicated to providing boys and girls (Grades 5-12) opportunities to learn leadership, citizenship, and life skills. Youth in the Fayette County 4-H program are given a chance to “learn by doing” through project work, classes, workshops, judging events, camps and other learning activities. 5th grade students get the benefit of having a 4H advisor come into their classrooms on a weekly basis for hands on activities.

    Academic Camp (After school Reading and Math) is a free academic program provided to students who qualify for assistance. The program is held after school and taught by highly qualified certified teachers. This program is offered only to grades 3-5 in the areas of reading and math.

    Art is a very busy and creative place everyday! Students come to art one time each week for forty-five minutes. Art projects offer students many opportunities for excellence and high achievement. Art projects are designed to help students develop important critical thinking and problem-solving skills through hands-on learning experiences and content area connections. Art lessons are planned to align with the Georgia Performance Standards for Visual Art and students are assessed regularly.

    All Burch students will participate in the school-wide yearly art show at “Fine Arts Night” in March. Be sure to check your calendars so you will not miss this outstanding display of student art talent. Other student art displays will include Tyrone Founder’s Day, Board of Education, Capitol Art Exhibit, and Old Fayette County Courthouse Art Show in which exceptional artworks will be selected. The mission statement that guides students to success is, “There are no mistakes in art, only discoveries!”

    Chorus provides 4th and 5th grade students with an opportunity to develop vocal musical talents and strengthen performance skills through in-school & community presentations. Practices are held after school from 2:30-3:30 pm on Monday or Tuesday, and students participate in scheduled school and community performances.
    Advisor: Terri Teague

    Collaborative Instruction and Inclusion (CII)
    In an effort to provide less fragmented instruction for our special education and Early Intervention Program (EIP) students, we use collaborative and inclusive models for serving them within the regular classroom. The special education and EIP teachers, and/or paraprofessionals go into the classes and provide instruction and support (along with the regular teacher) for their students and others needing help. This gives the students an opportunity to be a part of the class and do the activities that the class is doing at their own rate. In some situations, students are pulled out for a particular program for a portion of their instructional segment. The collaborative program has proven to be very successful for all students and the classroom teachers. Working together, the teachers are able to provide the best possible instructional experiences for all students at their levels of performance.

    Computer Lab
    Our school houses a fully-equipped computer lab for teachers and students to utilize. Ms. Lisa Champlin, the school’s educational technology specialist, teaches large and small group instruction on hardware, software, and application of technology during the classrooms’ Specials rotation. The second lab (Computer Den) is available on a flexible schedule during the school day, which allows teachers to sign up in advance for collaborative lessons in the lab. The Computer Den is also used four hours a week through the After School Program (ASP).

    Both computer labs are equipped with a minimum of 28 computers, networked printers, and 21st Century equipment.  Ms. Champlin uses a variety of programs and strategies to teach keyboarding skills, word processing, and information storage and retrieval. These skills are reinforced in classrooms by student use of computers throughout the day. Programs that highlight reading readiness, phonemic awareness, sequencing, reading comprehension, map skills, ecology, math facts, and creative writing are used frequently. Our software integrates technology into all curriculum areas and supports the teaching and advancement of technology skills as well as supporting all academic areas.

    Cooperative Learning
    Cooperative learning is an instructional strategy that is used at all grade levels at Burch Elementary and is simply defined as school work done in groups. Students are grouped and allowed to work together to complete assignments, projects, and problem solving activities. The groups are constructed so that each student has a specific role, and each student is dependent on the others. Though the work is done in a group, each individual student is responsible for knowing the material. Working in groups allows all children to succeed and provides wonderful opportunities for developing the social skills needed to function in our society. Classmates use each other as resources rather than competitors, and responsibility is developed as students strive to reach group and individual goals. Students are given responsibility for their own learning. Of course, not all instruction is provided in cooperative groups. Cooperative Learning is used along with whole group, small group, individual, and traditional instruction to provide a well-rounded approach to teaching all subject areas.

    Cultural Arts
    The media specialist plans special programs to provide positive learning experiences for the students. These cultural arts programs can be class or subject specific, grade specific, or whole school oriented. Ideas and requests for specific presentations or presenters can be given to the media specialist at any time. It is hoped that the teachers will gain information pertinent to their curriculum and that the students will make meaningful classroom connections. These cultural arts programs also serve as an opportunity to model and teach appropriate behavior at such functions.

    Drug Awareness Resistance Education (DARE)
    This is a collaborative effort by DARE certified law enforcement officers, educators, students, parents, and community to offer an educational program in the classroom to prevent or reduce drug abuse and violence among children and youth. The emphasis of DARE is to help students recognize and resist the many direct and subtle pressures that influence them to experiment with alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, inhalants, or other drugs or to engage in violence. This program is brought into all 5th grade classrooms by a specially trained Fayette County Sheriff DARE officer for either the first half or the second half of the school year.

    English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
    English Speakers of Other Languages is a program designed to help students whose first language is not English learn our difficult language. This program serves students from kindergarten through fifth grade at Burch Elementary and helps them acquire the listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills they need to become successful in school. ESOL students are members of regular classrooms and receive extra instruction daily from an ESOL teacher.

    Early Intervention Program (EIP)
    This state funded program provides additional instructional support for students who would benefit from extra support in reading and/or math. Students qualify for the program based on standardized test scores, teacher recommendation, and academic achievement in class. The program is staffed by certified teachers who either work collaboratively in the regular classroom or pull out small groups of students for 45-50 minute instructional sessions during the normal school day.

    Gifted Program
    The gifted program at Burch serves students in first through fifth grade. Students from each grade level spend one day a week with their enrichment class. The students work on thematic units of study, which focus on the Universal Themes of Foundations, Change, Systems, Perspective, and Interdependence. Students are engaged in research and problem solving. The units are rigorous and place a heavy emphasis on higher order thinking skills, research, and problem solving. Click here to visit our school’s Enrichment website. Click here to visit the Fayette County Gifted Program website

    Morning Broadcast
    It’s 7:40! The director shouts, “QUIET ON THE SET!” The WRJB announcers and technical crew are ready to go LIVE! on the school’s close circuit television station. Every morning WRJB produces a version of what network and cable television does every day, except our anchors remind their listeners of school rules and cafeteria etiquette, promote upcoming activities, spotlight student achievements, announce the lunch choices for the day, encourage students to demonstrate character traits, and lead students in reciting the School Code of Conduct, School Mission Statement, and Pledge of Allegiance. Another major difference is that we have a different crew each day of the week! This allows 58 children to experience the thrill of LIVE television to a viewing audience of over 700 viewers! Additionally, students have an opportunity to apply technology skills, solve problems, work with a team, and develop leadership skills. The broadcast is a student production with teachers acting as advisors.
    Advisors: Suzanne Preiss and Beverly Woody

    Students at Robert J. Burch Elementary School attend music class one day each week for a period of 45 minutes. Based on the Fayette County Schools Elementary Music Curriculum and guidelines provided by the Georgia Quality Core Curriculum, lessons provide opportunities for students to develop and expand basic music skills through movement, singing, playing instruments, creating music, vocabulary study, games, and performance. Students are introduced to a “Musician of the Month”, a “Word of the Week”, and an “Instrument of the Week” to enhance knowledge of composers, music vocabulary, and instrument families. Mrs. Teague also works with classroom teachers to integrate music into classroom content area studies.

    Reading Program: Reading Counts

     Scholastics Reading Counts is our system approved computer based program for monitoring and motivating student reading. This program checks a student’s comprehension of a text read. Reading Counts has a bank of 30 possible questions. The questions include “higher order” thinking questions. The test is multiple-choice. When the student completes the test he is given the chance to rate the book on a scale of 1-5. This gives the teacher information about “favorites” of students. Teachers set goals for the students either by points or number of books read. Teachers can access the testing data and Reading Counts progress data for their students. The books that students read from our library are leveled by a Lexile score, which is visible on the spine of the book. The Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) is given to students to determine a student’s reading Lexile. Students’ Lexile measures are the level at which they can read with moderate success (approx. 75% comprehension). Lexiles are the most widely adopted reading measure in use today, reflected in all major standardized reading tests. Although Lexile measures do not directly translate to grade levels, it is useful to consult a “Lexile Map” and additional information about Lexiles which can be found at Lexile.com. There are 45,000 RC tests available for K-12. More tests are added each month and are downloaded to our RC library.

    Reading Resource Available from Home

    Running Club
    The Running Club starts soon and is available to all students from 2nd through 5th grade. The students have the option of walking or running every morning before school from 7:20 – 7:45 on the Burch track. The number of laps walked/run are recorded daily and a running total will be kept. There will be incentives for students at various milestones and the total miles will accumulate from year to year.

    There is a $10 fee to join which helps to pay for a Running Club shirt for each participant, as well as for the incentives given throughout the year.

    The Running Club is a great way to reinforce the health and fitness goals of the P.E. program by encouraging daily exercise. It is also an excellent way for students to work off some excess energy before they go to class in the morning!
    In addition to running in the mornings, there will be opportunities throughout the year for students to participate in races all over Fayette County. These races will add to their running total, and there are other prizes they can win as well.
    There will be information sent home at the beginning of the school year, but students may join at any time. For more information contact Coach Nails.

    Click for the Running Club release form: running club

    Science Olympiad

    Check back for updated information

    Title 1
    Title I is a federally funded program that provides assistance to students who qualify. Services are provided in the areas of math and reading and offered before, during, and after school. Highly qualified teachers and paraprofessionals provide the small group instructional support.