George Shirakawa Sr. School is located across from the District Office, in the central part of the Franklin-McKinley School District. We serve a student population that is approximately 45% Hispanic or Latino, 42% Asian, 6% White and 7% other. As of September 2019, 62% of all students participate in the free/reduced lunch program.
Shirakawa’s teachers are committed to meeting the instructional needs of all students by using a data-driven, school-wide system for increasing student learning, improving instructional and management processes, and increasing the satisfaction of all stakeholders – students, parents, staff and community.
We offer a coordinated instructional program for all grade levels. All students learn and build on basic skills and concepts through a rich and engaging curriculum. Teachers meet regularly for grade-level planning and curriculum mapping. Teachers at Shirakawa School are currently focused on perfecting the use of progressive and innovative instructional strategies that will fully engage students in a highly interactive academic experience. Additionally, they have been focusing on professional development in the areas of: Guided Reading and Collections Reading curriculum for Grades 6-8. For the 20-21 school year, teachers in grades K-5 will be trained in the newly adopted ELA curriculum, Journeys and teachers in Grades 7-8 will be trained in Discovery Science, the new adopted science curriculum. The district is also further investing in Engage NY Math for grades K-5 with the purchase of Eureka Math which will have a digital component.
Technology is key in supporting student instruction. Students have utilization of iPads in the classroom for LexiaCore5, PowerUp, Reading Plus, and other research-focused projects. The use of technology in the classroom allows teachers to meet students' individual learning needs.
To support the social-emotional needs of our students, Shirakawa focuses on a monthly Character Trait. Each month, students engage around a classroom activity to discuss and reflect on the trait. For example, in the month of September is Citizenship, October is Respect, and November is Gratitude. Following the lesson with their teacher, students work together on a project to demonstrate their knowledge of the trait. Each month, the projects are captured into a slideshow and presented to the students in a school-wide assembly.
We, the George Shirakawa School community, are a diverse group of caring, energetic, and motivated individuals. We are here to provide a safe environment, support each other, and foster a love of learning through our A, B, C's: Academic excellence for all students, Building culture and community, and Collaboration.
Shirakawa, along with a strong partnership with parents and community, will provide a coordinated instructional program for all grade levels, where students learn and build on basic skills and concepts through a rich and engaging curriculum. We will encourage students to think critically, creatively and independently; to work collaboratively; and to explore learning beyond the classroom. We will teach them to understand and appreciate human and cultural diversity. We will increasingly engage them in their community as citizens, neighbors and stewards of our natural environment. We expect all members of our school community to practice civility, respect and tolerance toward each other.