Attending Colfax Upper Elementary School marks the first time when students are offered extra-curricular activities in which they can participate. Band, chorus, academic games, and student council programs enable students to further explore individual talents in music, academics, and leadership. These programs also involve students in community service projects. Band and choir groups travel to many areas of the District to provide entertainment, especially around holidays. The Student Council heads many activities in the building throughout the school year and sponsors service activities for students to give back to their community. The Academic Games program offers the students a chance to test their own academic abilities in games against students from their own school and those from schools around the area, state, and nation.
The Academic Games program allows students the opportunity to try to outthink each other in the areas of mathematics, language arts, and social studies. Through a series of six games, students compete against each other for high score. Some games – Equations, On-Sets, and LinguiSHTIK – require a kit in which cubes are rolled and played on a board. Other games – Presidents, World Events, and Propaganda – involve students answering questions read by a central reader.
An on-site sponsor helps students to learn the rules of each game. Practices are held frequently and are open to all interested students. Competition teams are developed for each game and students travel to competitions around the Pittsburgh area. At these competitions, students can qualify for State and National events by gaining a high score over other competing students.
The Colfax Upper Elementary School Chamber Singers is a select group of students in grades 5 & 6 who would like to further explore vocal music. The skill level of the group extends beyond what students learn in their general music class and grade-level chorus. At the beginning of the school year, all grade 5 & 6 students have the opportunity to audition for the Chamber Singers. Acceptance into this group is based on the following criteria: tone quality, intonation, projection, and diction. Other District music teachers help with the selection process. Once chosen, students must attend weekly practices outside the school day. Musical performances are scheduled throughout the school year. Students have the chance to visit organizations and institutions around the community and the Pittsburgh area to show off their abilities.
The goal of the Colfax Upper Elementary School’s Student Council is to have elementary students actively participate in a democratic elective and representative process. Students have this opportunity to become more aware of their school and community. This objective is accomplished through participation in activities designed to promote positive attitudes and self-worth, based on a sense of altruism or unselfish concern for the welfare of others.
Students are elected to the Council from each classroom at the school. Those individuals who are nominated are asked to give a brief speech regarding the qualities that they possess that would make them effective representatives. They must also set specific goals or ideas that they would try to promote during their term in office. The two nominees with the highest number of votes in each classroom are elected to the Student Council. These representatives, or their alternates, must attend meetings, set a positive academic and behavior example, fulfill the responsibilities of active participation, and report back to their homeroom classmates in order to remain a member in good standing and fulfill their term of office.
Each year, the Colfax Upper Elementary School Parent Teacher Association sponsors and organizes an After-School Activities program for students in grade 4 through grade 6. Teachers, parents, and other staff teach the classes in topics such as: cooking, gymnastics, karate, arts/crafts, and various sports activities. Classes are offered on a semester basis and students select the courses in which they are interested and would like to enroll. The classes are usually held from 3:15 – 4:00 p.m. in rooms throughout the upper elementary building. Parents are responsible for transportation home for children.
YMCA Day Care
The Allegheny Valley School District offers before- and after-school child care through the YMCA of New Kensington. The group provides creative and constructive activities to help in a student’s development. Well-trained staff provide safe, affordable, high-quality care so parents can have peace of mind while they work. The YMCA school-age care gives children the chance to express their talents in the arts, sports, and other areas of interest. Children find out what success is all about in an approach that says everybody plays, everybody wins. Time is set aside for tackling homework, with adult help available. The YMCA staff know how to challenge children and how to listen to them.
For more information on the program, please contact the YMCA of New Kensington at 800 Constitutional Boulevard, New Kensington, PA 15068 or by phone at 724-335-9191.
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