School History


The History of Wilson School

In 1930,
the Wilson School property was purchased from SchoolHistoryReverend Peter Quealy for $37,000. Since there was no street along the western side of the property, the school district deeded a strip of land to the village and Buckingham Road was created. Architect H.T. Blanchard designed the school and Morgan Coblentz Construction Company then constructed the building that consisted of one story containing eight classrooms, two multipurpose rooms, a gymnasium, and an auditorium. 

By the fall of 1936 additional classroom space was needed due to overcrowding. A special district meeting was called to vote on a $140,000 bond issue to add a second story to the building. Eight classrooms, two additional multipurpose rooms, and two student bathrooms were included in this second story expansion.

The school is named for Francis F. Wilson, a former president of the Board of Education. His vision, untiring devotion to children and spirit of service continue to pervade the building through the dedicated staff, parents, and community members who support a strong educational environment.

Wilson School's Community of Learners includes a unique blend of students. The minority population of students includes students from Asian, African American, and Hispanic descent. All of the district's five elementary schools have full inclusion programs in kindergarten through fifth grade. An average class size of twenty-two students and a collaborative team approach to instruction allow the staff to establish strong relationships with individual students.

High academic standards are set and consistently reinforced in a safe, nurturing environment. Learning for all is the focus of our community. A strong educational program for our students, comprehensive staff development and parent workshops support learning for everyone. Emphasis on developing the potential of the whole child is evident through school programs and extended learning opportunities. Art, music, theatre, physical education, technology, literacy, social studies, mathematics, and scientific inquiry are available to students both during and outside the school day. The staff works tirelessly to adapt the environment and instruction to meet each child's needs. A wide array of support services is accessed proactively to support students needing assistance to reach benchmarks and to enrich the curriculum for all students. The strong belief that all children can and will succeed is supported by the myriad of push-in support services which enrich our classrooms: the Academic Support Program, English as a Second Language (ESL) services, Inclusion (special education), and Reading Support Services. A proactive approach to supporting student success provides academic intervention services as early as kindergarten. A comprehensive assessment program monitors student progress in meeting New York State Learning Standards. Our students consistently perform well above the local, state, and national average on all standardized tests.

The strength of our learning community is based on strong collaboration and teamwork among all stakeholders. Leadership is shared--students, staff, and parents are encouraged to design, propose, and implement new ideas and programs to improve our instructional program. Creativity and risk-taking are supported and encourage innovation. Diversity is treasured in the environment we have established and is evident in the attitude among members of our learning community. Each member is valued, respected, and encouraged to take an active role. The Compact Team, Student Government, Instructional Study Team, and the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) offer conduits for contribution and collaboration. Strong lines of communication are maintained among all stakeholders. The principal's "open door" policy encourages input, feedback, and ownership of our program for all members of the learning community.

The high caliber of our professional team is recognized in the district and beyond. Local universities have established partnerships with Wilson School to develop future teachers. Each year, undergraduate and graduate students develop teaching strategies working collaboratively within our learning environment. Visitors received each year from neighboring districts and states are another example of our respect in the educational community. During the past years, visitors from more than twenty districts and private schools have come to Wilson to observe our innovative inclusion program. Several of these institutions have developed or expanded programs based on our model. Members of our staff have been invited to present at conferences on the local, state, and national levels. Professional knowledge is kept current through a comprehensive district-wide staff development program, graduate coursework, collegial research circles, teacher-designed professional development plans, building and district grade level meetings, workshop and conference attendance, and access to a professional library and an Internet-ready computer lab housed in the media center. Senior staff members informally mentor new staff members.

Parents are important members of our learning community. High PTA membership and active participation on more than forty committees, is evidence of the parents' commitment to enriching the learning environment for the students. Parents as Reading Partners (PARP), Arts in Motion (AIM), the Landscaping Committee, and the Birthday Book Club are just a few examples of how the educational program is enriched through parent participation. Annual events such as Field Day, the Moving Up Ceremony, and Kindergarten Orientation would not be possible without strong parental support. Parents are committed to their own children, but also to each other's children. A strong sense of community and inclusion is evident among the parent population. Parents' support of the special education inclusion program has been a critical element of its success. Monthly Parent Teacher Association (PTA) meetings offer parents an opportunity to learn about various aspects of our instructional program.

PTA Members of this active group serve on one or more of the numerous committees that enrich our children's school experience. Wilson School's PTA meets monthly on committee business often followed by an educational updates. The PTA Directory has names and phone numbers of the PTA Executive Committee, Chairs, Class lists and important dates.

The Wilson Compact Team is comprised of representatives from our school community-principal, teachers, pupil support staff, students, and parents. The team's role is to enhance and improve the educational experience of all students through shared decision- making. Monthly Compact meetings are scheduled after school.

Extending our spirit of collaboration beyond the school building enables us to establish connections that further strengthen our educational program. Grants made available through the district's Teacher Center, the Alex Benjamin Norris Memorial Fund and the Rockville Centre Education Foundation have enriched many aspects of our program. In addition to universities, museums, theaters, and local government agencies, collaboration with the local high school has benefited our students through the Homework Helpers program and the Athletes Helping Athletes program. A link with our local middle school has benefited our students through the Prejudice is Not Kool (PINK) club and the Achieving Sex Equity Through Students (ASETS) program visits.

Teamwork and collaboration are the hallmarks of our learning community. Shared goals and a common language support the establishment of a school-wide sense of community. Community building within the classrooms is central. Grade level teams share expertise and materials. This collaborative spirit also extends to the district community and to the wider community.

The belief that we are responsible for and capable of educating all students drives our practice. The graphic of an owl inside a heart is a visual expression of our emphasis on high academic standards for all learners embedded within a caring community. An inclusion consultant who works with schools throughout the county and state has told us that our collaborative, problem-solving approach to educating all children is refreshing. For us, the question is never if we can do it, but how we will do it. We live by Margaret Mead's words when she said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has."


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