Oak Leaf Elementary, by the numbersSep 03, 2022 01:00PM ● By Jet Burnham
By Jet Burnham | [email protected]
Herriman’s new Oak Leaf Elementary, at 6936 Silver Sky Drive, is Jordan School District’s 42nd elementary school. Principal Ronna Hoffman, who was previously principal at Riverside Elementary in West Jordan, is on cloud nine to be the school’s first principal.
“I'm so excited,” she said. “It's gonna be a good year.”
The school has 57 staff members (and growing) which Hoffman has gathered from the four corners of the Valley.
“We are just in such a great position to take the best of what has been happening in all schools and combine it together and make it our own,” Hoffman said. “We're going to bring all of those ideas and all of those perspectives together and we're going to create something great.”
One of the things that makes the school unique is that it was built with one Makerspace for lessons with the STEM specialist and one dance room for lessons with the arts specialist. It also has one wellness room for students and one wellness room for teachers.
For those who are still learning their 1-2-3s, the school houses a preschool program.
Oak Leaf also has one full-time assistant principal, one full-time school psychologist and one full-time guidance counselor. This is the first year each JSD elementary school will have these full time positions, which were previously shared among two or three schools for a fraction of the time.
Other numbers pertinent to the school are: ⅙, 2 and 500.
● Oak Leaf is one of six JSD elementary schools piloting the Standards Based Grading system.
● Two extra buses will provide temporary Safety Shuttles to students who are within walking distance of Oak Leaf but have no safe walking route while Herriman Main Street is under construction.
● There are 500 K-6 students currently enrolled at Oak Leaf Elementary. More are expected by the end of the year as the neighborhoods in the surrounding area are developed. Teachers bought classroom supplies for 35 students even though they may only be starting the year with as few as 20.
Teachers are of two minds about teaching at a brand new school—it has both positives and negatives.
“You get the best technology, you get the newest building but it does come with challenges, like you may not have all the supplies you need, or the air conditioning doesn't work and you do spend a lot of your summer doing school stuff,” sixth-grade teacher Angie Alms said. She knows a trick or two for opening a new school—this is her third time.
“You really have to start from scratch,” she said. “Every single thing that you think the kids need, you have to order.”
Fifth-grade teacher Brittany Greco said teachers have been able to add their two cents to decisions about classroom furniture and supplies.
“The teachers get more of a say instead of coming into an established school that has its routines and procedures,” Greco said.
Sixth-grade teacher Jordan Peterson, who transferred from West Jordan Elementary (which is 40 years old), is excited for the opportunity to begin the year with a blank slate.
“I’m coming from an old school where everything was already set in stone,” she said. “Those traditions have been in place for years. They were good traditions, but I didn't have a part in creating them. So that's exciting to me to be a part of starting something new. We get to create what we want.”