Haverhill Elementary School is all about community, says Principal Ashley Ransom.

The 41-year-old school on Weatherside Run in the heart of the 363-home Haverhill of Coventry is one of six K-5 schools in Southwest Allen County Schools.

Ransom, in her second year at Haverhill, told the SACS School Board on Tuesday that she is witnessing “a real sense of pride” among the 448 students and their families.

“This year our goal and mission at Haverhill is to build our community within the classroom, within our school and even in the community,” Ransom said.

To that end, Haverhill has adopted the motto “Our Community: Build, Serve, Be.” That “Be” entails being fully connected while engaging with the community, she said.

She said in her first year at Haverhill, 2020-21, staff urged her to “let kids see that they were part of something bigger than just their classroom.”

So she surveyed the Haverhill Hawks with a question: What is a hawk?

“Some of them said it’s a bird, which is fine because those are our kindergartners,” she said. “We took all the feedback and we came up with a pledge, something we can say every day, something that means a great deal to us.”

The Haverhill pledge: “I am a Haverhill Hawk! Hawks are curious, helpful, inclusive, respectful, safe and proud of our community.”

On July 31, volunteers from the school families and from a local house of faith she referred to simply as “Church,” on Liberty Mills Road, shared in refreshing the building and grounds for the approaching school year.

“... that community support — it was overwhelming,” Ransom said. “We had 170 community members and volunteers who showed up that day and they did all kinds of jobs. They were picking up leaves, they were painting, they were pulling bushes, anything that I had written down.”

Twenty-five staff members took part. Two food trucks showed up to make sure everyone was fed. “We worked for 4 hours. We made a substantial difference in our Haverhill community,” she said.

She said she expects such an enterprise to unfold every year, “just within the school community.”

Haverhill also holds the district’s Title I program and is one of two elementary schools offering special needs programs.

The Haverhill presentation took center stage on the School Board’s relatively light agenda. This marked the second meeting held in the Homestead High School auditorium, which provides more seating and elbow room than the Administration Office meeting room, as well as a larger projection screen and a sound system.

In other business, the board reviewed two possible school calendars for the 2023-24 school year. The principal difference is the timing of fall break, either from Oct. 2-6 or from Oct. 16-20.

Superintendent Park Ginder said in the second option “fall break falls in such a manner that all our freshman and junior varsity athletics at the high school are over.” He continued, “There would still be varsity competitions throughout that time just like there are at spring break and Christmas break, but it would free most of our communities from being tied to the school.

“It does not impact marching band or the other big things that go on at the high school. Those would go on as always.”

Find the calendar options at http://www.sacs.k12.in.us. The board is scheduled to vote on the calendar at the Nov. 3 meeting.

The 2022-23 calendar is posted at that same site. Aug. 10 is the first student day. May 31, 2023, is the final student day.

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