photo of superintendent Dr. David Daigneault

Superintendent's Message

One School, Two Tops

by Dr. David Daigneault

You may have heard the news that Grenada School District is seeking approval from the Mississippi Department of Education to restructure our elementary schools. The Pre-K to 3rd grade school and the 4th to 5th grade school — commonly referred to as Grenada Upper Elementary — will now be known simply as Grenada Elementary School. To help distinguish the two, we're referring to each building by their roof color. "Red Top" is where we house Pre-K through third grade, while "Green Top" is fourth and fifth grade.

In many ways, the elementary schools at Grenada have always been one. They're two buildings in the same complex with a shared mission — to provide the best fundamental learning experience for the children of Grenada County.

By joining our resources and sharing expertise between the two schools, Grenada Elementary can now draw on the strengths of both schools with the goal of elevating our entire elementary program.

Recently in this space, I've written how our Pre-K and early grades at Grenada Elementary exemplify this district's mission of innovation. The teachers and administrators at the Green Top demonstrate their own brand of excellence and innovation through a variety of stand-out programs.

Among the highlights is the Discovery Lab, which provides a hands-on learning experience similar to the Kidzeum at the Red Top. In the Discovery Lab, fourth and fifth grade students apply their classroom science lessons in a laboratory setting, conducting experiments and simulations.

With the recent implementation of Project Lead the Way curriculum — including a recent unit on how infections are spread — the Discovery Lab will continue to evolve and introduce students to higher-level science.

Our gifted program, LEAP, is flourishing thanks to activities like Future Problem Solving teams, spearheaded by Frankie Fortier. Students confront large-scale, real-world problems and use critical-thinking procedures to come up with solutions. Our teams have competed with other schools and performed so well they were invited to the international competition in Minnesota last summer. This curriculum challenges our students to think big and instills leadership qualities that place them ahead of the curve.

Likewise, Mrs. Tharpe has moved to the front of the pack in elevating the school's physical education to a fitness-based curriculum that promotes healthy lifestyles, regular exercise, and team-building activities.

Her efforts to revamp the P.E. program have highlighted the correlation between physical fitness and mental acuity and resulted in the school being named "Healthiest School in Mississippi" by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Mississippi.

Finally, the school is launching its first-ever book club for fourth and fifth graders that will enhance the students' understanding and enjoyment of reading.

We look forward to seeing how these innovative strategies cross-pollinate when we open the lines of communications between teachers at both schools who are working hard to enrich study at Grenada Schools.

With an easier transition to upper grades, we believe our students will be more successful academically and socially, and they'll be better prepared for middle and high school. Grenada School District prides itself on offering an education that lasts not from one grade to the next, or even one school to the next, but for a student's entire journey, from Pre-K to 12th grade. And the journey begins right here … at Grenada Elementary School.