Parmelee Elementary school is a public school located in Morrison, CO. with 310 students attending this K-5 elementary school. There is a teacher to student ratio of 18:1. Parmalee is often referred to as the ‘hidden gem’ of Jefferson County Schools. It is tucked back into the foothills and has a quiet and intimate mountain village scene. There are three pillars the entire staff of Parmalee Elementary stands behind: relationships, relevance, and rigor (Parmale Elementary School). This mission reflects the overall expectations of both the staff and students.
For over a decade Parmalee Elementary has been a recipient every year of The John Irwin School of Excellence and the Governor’s Distinguished School Improvement Awards (Parmalee Elementary School). In addition, the most recent School Performance Framework (SPF) showed 99.3 out of 100 possible points (Parmalee Elementary). These statistics clearly show high academic achievement in the school, but the staff, parents, and students showcase an admirable caring and welcoming environment.
The staff enforces intrinsic motivation, a theory by Carl Rogers. (McDaniel, 2017). The students are encouraged to do schoolwork to better themselves. The staff is very involved with each individual student as well as the community surrounding the school.
The parents are especially involved with the school as they are constantly planning and organizing fundraisers, events, and activities through the PTA program (Parmalee PTA). Recently, the PTA program has designated a wall near the office where parents of students can donate to the PTA program by putting money in envelopes decorated by the students. Students recognize that donated time and money to the PTA program is reflected in the programs they can be a part of. The students are influenced to be active in after school programs and events. Some of the after-school programs at Parmalee are band, computer arts, orchestra, chess, coding classes, oral interpretation, writing club, talent shows and several different sports. The D.O.G.S program (dads of great students) is beneficial not only for the safety of the school but increases the students’ determination while in school.
Students are given the opportunity to be in student counsel where they can read morning announcements, raise the flag, read the pledge of allegiance, and run donation organizations. Students can nominate themselves to be on student counsel. General education teachers and Ms. Mielke, the principle, vote on the student nominees. Student counsel as intrinsic motivation encourages students to improve their academic work as well as help their school community.
Demographics: The students who attend Parmalee elementary school are 88% white, 6% Hispanic, 2% black, 1% Asian, and 1% American Indian. These demographics show there is a small range of ethnicities; however, families in this community have diverse lifestyles.
Some families specifically have their children attend Parmalee due to the GT program, while other families enroll their children due location coinciding to their residencies. The test scores are well above the Colorado State average which attracts several families; however, living in this area of Colorado can be expensive and as a result, only 8% are low income households where the students are provided with free or induced lunches (Explore Parmalee Elementary, n.d.). Although the students and staff are primarily white, Parmalee is extremely welcoming students of all races, classes, and household income. It is a welcoming space for all. Parmalee has never turned away a child due to race, income status, or disability.
The staff at Parmalee Elementary School strive to create a learning environment which is individualized for each student. Out of 310 students, 105 students have ALP’s, 7 students are ELL, 29 are in speech and language, 22 have IEP’s, and 9 have a 504 (JEFFCOSOARS, 2020). Although this is not a magnet school, more focus and funding are provided for the GT program (Smith, 2020). The GT program provides resources for students who are developmentally and academically advanced in order to challenge students to meet their full potential and educational programming needs.
In the art room, respect for fellow classmates and the teacher is the main expectation. Students are commonly told to not compare their work to other students’ and there is no such thing as good/bad art, but simply different art because everyone is unique (Ratke, 2020). When students come into the classroom, they are expected to grab their sketchbooks, write down the vocabulary words, and start on the warm-up which is written on the board. In the art classroom, students learn structure which is rewarded when followed. This could be reflected in their own households; when a certain structure is followed, there are benefits and a sense of pride. There are two reward-systems set in place. Any student that begins their warm-up is presented with a sticker. At the end of class, when the students are all lined up at the door, the teacher hands out one or two “Mona Lisa Bucks.” In the following class, these can be traded in for different rewards such as a small prize from the prize box, or 20 minutes sitting at the teacher’s desk. In addition, there is a “Chill-Out” zone inclusive of different sensory items students can use.