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Partners In Education (PIE) at WVCSD

A line sketch of two hands holding the letters P I EThe Partners in Education Program (PIE) at Warwick Valley brings home, school, and community together in the classroom. Teachers, students and parents work together as partners with the full support of district leadership.

Bridging home, school, and community is at the core of the PIE philosophy, providing educators with an invaluable support system and parents with a window into their child’s learning environment.

PIE is an educational option available to all Warwick Valley students. The program is hosted at Sanfordville Elementary for Kindergarten and Grades 1-4. Students in Grades 5-6 attend the Middle School.

PIE News

The PIE program continues at the Middle School for Grades 5-6 as “MAC” (multi-age classrooms). It’s also called The Orange Team.

The MAC teachers, all former PIE teachers, have incorporated the four PIE cornerstones into an environment where students are assigned to a homeroom and switch classes throughout the day.


The Four Cornerstones

The PIE program is built on Four Cornerstones:

1. Multi-Age Classroom

PIE is multi-age grouping, which encourages noncompetitive, collaborative social interaction and supports each child on his/her own learning continuum, and students have the opportunity to be both mentor and mentee.

There is a two-year commitment to the multi-age classrooms at the Grade 1-2 and 3-4 levels. PIE Kindergarten students are expected to commit for the full school year.

2. Family Involvement

Bridging home and school provides educators with an invaluable support system, parents with a window into their child’s learning environment, and children with a sense of family involvement.

Volunteers can help inside and outside of school hours, both in the classroom and outside by gathering study resources, shopping for project supplies, prepping materials or developing community-wide activities

3. Integrated Curriculum

The third essential cornerstone of PIE is an integrated curriculum approach to achievement of the NY State and District learning standards. This approach provides opportunities for students to build upon their strengths, interests, and experiences and assists them in making connections between and among the concepts and skills learned. Hands-on, project-oriented work utilizing tools such as technology and nature simulate real world experiences.  

It is within this framework that PIE teachers endeavor to address the diverse needs and abilities of their students, as well as establish a learning environment that promotes inquiry, creativity, and responsibility. Free-thinking and self-directed learning skills form as student points-of-view are incorporated.

4. Nature Appreciation

The PIE classroom extends beyond the school building and into the natural environment. Outdoor exploration fosters a meaningful understanding of the world, whether tending to the PIE garden or bringing nature indoors.


PIE Guiding Principles

In PIE, teaching and learning:

1. Are centered around big concepts and ideas that are integrated across the curriculum.

  • Whole ideas, events and materials are presented in purposeful context.
  • Concepts and skills are interrelated, making learning meaningful.

2. Affirm students’ interests, ideas, and points of view as essential to the learning process.

  • Each child possesses a unique social, emotional, and intellectual developmental profile.
  • Conferencing and goal setting encourages students to take initiative for their own learning.

3. Promote a community whose members include parents, students, and teachers as partners.

  • Members of the community exchange ideas to create engaging learning experiences.
  • Community members, along with district leaders, assume key roles in the growth and well-being of the program.

4. Capitalize on students’ various developmental levels to effect academic and social growth.

  • Teachers endeavor to address the diverse needs and abilities of their students with practices that include: peer tutoring, flexible grouping and cooperative learning.
  • Learning is socially constructed and often interactive; teachers create classroom interactions that scaffold learning.

5. Are assessed and evaluated with a variety of materials.

  • Instruction and authentic assessment are woven together.
  • Developmental continuums provide the link between instruction, assessment, New York State Standards, and student portfolios.

6. Foster the growth and development of socially responsible citizens and lifelong learners.

  • Students are encouraged to make responsible choices within the framework of
    classroom expectations.
  • Students are given opportunities to take an active role in solving problems in their community.
  • Learning is framed as an active process that extends beyond the parameters of school.