The Scott M. Ellis Elementary School community is committed to active, reflective, creative learning. We believe learning is maximized when it takes place in an environment enriched with support, encouragement and assistance.

We celebrate the pursuit of lifelong learning and are committed to nurturing high self-esteem and respect for others.

We believe that everyone can learn, become better thinkers and independent learners. An integral part of our learning process will have our school community learning how to ask questions, solve problems and make thoughtful decisions.


Work together as a community

  • Community is defined as students, parents, teachers, support staff, administrators, Board of Education and community members

  • Foster open communication between all stakeholders

  • Conquer new challenges together

  • Insure creative use of all available resources

Have high expectations for everyone

  • Be relentlessly optimistic for growth for all

  • Provide repeated experiences of success for all

  • Believe and communicate the belief that everyone can learn and think productively at the highest levels

Celebrate the individual

  • Have respect for the beauty of each individual's differences and abilities

  • Allow for the unfolding of each person's potential

  • Realize that self-worth, self-esteem, self-image and self-confidence are all crucial to learning

  • Guarantee equity for all

  • Understand and appreciate cultural diversity: race, nationality, origin, religion and social background

  • Recognize that we begin at different starting points and learn at different rates.

Provide multiple learning approaches

  • Offer a variety of approaches, experiences and programs

  • Keep a balance between academic, social and emotional well-being

  • Support interdisciplinary application of basic skills

  • Acknowledge multiple forms of literacy

  • Experience active, participatory, concrete learning

  • Provide opportunities for cooperative learning and interdependence

  • Coordinate integration of curriculum

  • Make learning relevant

Encourage creativity

  • Foster everyone's intrinsic curiosity and creativity

  • Praise wonder and imagination

Develop a positive learning environment

  • Sustain a safe, orderly, clean and comfortable environment

  • Create a social/emotional environment that is peaceful, caring, purposeful, nurturing, motivating, inspiring, challenging, flexible, exciting, friendly, fair and nonthreatening

  • Maintain a clear, consistent discipline policy

  • Act in a democratic way

Recognize that the journey is the reward

  • Endorse the principle that skills and competencies are not ends in themselves but need to be applied. The journey is more important than the end product

  • Promote lifelong thinking and learning

  • Motivate to keep the thirst for learning alive

  • Encourage the exploration of ideas


We will:

  • Pursue excellence through cooperation and teamwork

  • Communicate through clear and effective writing, speaking and listening.

  • Practice decency, which encompasses fairness, generosity, tolerance and compassion toward everyone.

  • Use higher level thinking, which includes comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.

  • Demonstrate critical and logical thinking, reasoning and decision making (according to their developmental level).

  • Formulate problems and design the tactics and strategies to solve them.

  • Recognize and use our unique personal signature through imagination and creativity

  • Practice good work habits and organizations skills.

  • Seek and use available resources

  • Strive to become independent thinkers and learners


The students leaving the Scott M. Ellis Elementary School will be:

  • Prepared to accept responsibility for their actions and begin to set appropriate goals for themselves. In doing so they will begin to be independent, self-motivated and self-disciplined.

  • Good citizens prepared to be a contributing member of society.

  • Cooperative and respectful of others and their property

  • Self-confident, have self-worth and will demonstrate personal integrity

  • Proud of his/her work and have a commitment to excellence

  • Aware of what it takes to be healthy (physically, socially, and emotionally) and will practice these behaviors

  • A well rounded individual, excited to be on the path of lifelong learning

  • Able to demonstrate basic skills which will enable them to form a firm foundation for future learning.


As the children in the Scott M. Ellis Elementary School are enabled to experience success, we recognize a need to measure this growth. This continual assessment will focus on quality processes, products and performances. In many tasks it is recognized that the task itself is the measurement. In many other tasks students will be asked to pose and clarify problems, and content will be mastered as a means of inquiry, not as an end product. Thus measurements will reflect the most important skills, attitudes, understanding and applications which are needed for performing effectively.

Therefore, it is imperative that a variety of methods of evaluation be developed and used. Included in these methods might be criterion referenced tests, student portfolios of quality work, demonstrations and performances that show an integration of a variety of levels of thinking skills and processes. Measuring devices must allow for creative and divergent thinking. All children will be encouraged to participate in evaluation their own progress, thus fostering independence.

As we, the learning community, move toward fulfilling our mission we recognize the need to continually reflect upon, assess and evaluate our growth. In this way we can become the school we envision. Our Mission evolved over a period of three years. We began by brainstorming our expectations for children. Input was gathered from staff, parents and the community on what should comprise an ideal elementary school. Research of both theory and practice followed. A draft was written, revised many times and culminated into the Mission Statement for our school. Some of the research from which pieces, ideas or phrases were drawn are listed below.

  • "Philosophy and Objectives of Schodack Central School District, 1991" Schodack, NY

  • "The Bleyl Plan - A Thinking Skills Program for United Mind Workers" by the Bleyl Junior High School Community, Houston, TX

  • "Developing A Vision Statement - Some Consideration for Principals" by Joseph F. Rogus, MASSP Bulletin/ Feb. 1990

  • "What Really Counts in Schools" by Elliot W. Elsner, Educations Leadership, Feb. 1991

  • "Connecticut's Common Core of Learning" by the Connecticut State Dept. of Education

  • "School Mission and Goals" by Lawrence W. Lezotte, 1985 Association of Effective Schools, Inc. Albany, NY

  • "On Local Autonomy and School Effectiveness a Conversation with John Chubb" by John Chubb, Educational Leadership, December 1990

  • "The Two-Hour Mission Statement" by Harold S. Williams, Innovating, 1990

  • Public Schools of Choice, Association for Supervision and Curriculum and Development, 1990