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Written by Karen Durfee   

Northeast Elementary School is Ithaca's largest elementary school. It is located in a residential area outside the village of Cayuga Heights. The surrounding neighborhood is made up of single-family dwellings as well as several apartment complexes. Many students walk to school or are transported by their parents.

The student population is extremely diverse.Many residents are members of the Cornell University Community either as visiting students or instructors.Every classroom includes children from a wide range of social, economic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.While a core group of students spends most of their elementary years at Northeast, many others attend for much shorter periods of time.Between one-quarter (1/4) and one-fifth of the student body each year are new entrants to the school. Due to the fluctuating nature of the Cornell academic community, many students leave and enter the school during the year.

There are 19 mainstream classrooms with approximately 380 students in grades Pre-K through 5.In addition, the building houses two self-contained special education classes with 25 students.The school also houses a deaf education program. Deaf education students receive services in a combination of in-class and pullout settings.

Northeast also is proud of its ESL program.Last year there were approximately forty-five students in the program.Students in the ESL program literally come from all over the world, with Korea currently representing the largest language minority in the school.Northeast's family liaison supports ESL students and families, as well as other Northeast families.

Despite the somewhat mobile nature of the student body, the school's teaching staff-including the AIS specialist and CSE chair, reading teachers, resource room teachers, social worker and speech/language therapist have many years of teaching expertise in the school and the district.Even with the constantly changing class groupings, the staff has met the following challenges consistently throughout the school’s history:

  • Incorporating new students into the building academically and socially as quickly as possible.
  • Maintaining high levels of academic achievement for all students given the high rate of student turnover and increasing population of low SES students.

Northeast Programs

Northeast Elementary school represents a broad cross-section of people from all walks of life, with diverse backgrounds.The school staff of 80 employees is extremely sensitive to the needs of this special population, and they use a wide variety of strategies and programs to address different learning styles and ability levels present in classes.Extensive opportunities are available for all students to experience success in learning.Classroom teachers focus on foundation skills in all academic areas.They utilize literature groups to cultivate positive attitudes towards reading and writing, designing activities and projects that bring literary elements to life.Such programs as Houghton Mifflin Reading, Accelerated Reader, Reading Mastery, and Everyday Math enrich the curriculum and provide vehicles towards helping students master skills emphasized in the New York State Standards.

Northeast offers a range of special programs that support students’ optimum, learning in the mainstream.These include:

  • ESL Services for 13% of the school's total population.Staffed with 3 ESL teachers, students receive special instruction in and out of the mainstream.
  • Special Education Services for 7% of the school's population (in addition to the special district classed and BOCES class). Northeast is proud of its blended model where help is provided to disables students in least restrictive settings that support learning.Special education teachers and reading teachers go into classes or pull small groups out for extra help and special instruction.
  • AIS-RECServices for 13% of the school's population.Students are referred due to their performance scores on state and local assessments, or through a classroom teacher's recommendation.Both reading teachers and special education teachers provide extra help in the areas of reading, writing, math, Social Studies and Science.Sometimes the assistance takes place directly in the mainstream class.Other times, small groups are pulled for instruction in a different setting.
  • District Self-Contained classes and BOCES Classes provide instructional settings for high needs students.The deaf education class services four of Northeast's students. A deaf education teacher and a staff of interpreters accompany students to mainstream classes when appropriate and provide additional support as needed. The District Self-Contained classes service approximately 5% of the school population. These students require supplant settings to be successful in school. Special education and behavior remediation. Placements into these 12:1:2 classes are made by ICSD's District Special Education Committee.

The AIS Specialist and the principal head the Northeast Instructional Support Team.This team meets weekly on students to design action plans to support student academic, social, or emotional success within a classroom environment. The building also has a Committee on Special Education that oversees the programs for classified students in attendance at Northeast.

Last Updated ( Monday, 03 September 2012 )
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