South Elementary School

South School’s permanent facility is 70,938 square feet. The school sits on 20.5 acres with the playground area using approximately 6 of those acres. Facilities include 34 classroom spaces, a library, a gymnasium and a multi-purpose room.

All classes are heterogeneously grouped, which allows for flexibility in meeting the needs of the students at all levels. In addition to a classroom teacher, all classes in grades 1-3 have an instructional assistant three hours each day and grades 4-5 have an instructional assistant two hours a day. These assistants help provide more individualized instruction as well as flexible grouping in the areas of reading and mathematics. Remedial reading, math support, and enrichment at all grade levels are provided as needed.

South School’s mission is to provide all our students with the vision, and skills and knowledge necessary to maximize their individual potential. Central to this accomplishment is the collaboration among all shareholders and disciplines so that students can become contributing members of society and appreciate that learning is a life-long process.

The focus of special curriculum is to meet the needs of Londonderry students, which may not be addressed through the regular curriculum and school sponsored activities. These needs are reflective of high academic ability/creativity performance and task commitment and include Keys to Enriching Youth, and math replacement classes in fourth and fifth grades.

All students in grades 1-5 receive music instruction once a week as part of the regular curriculum. The music program focuses on music theory and music appreciation as well as performance skills.

  • Chorus is open to any student in fourth or fifth grade.
  • Instrumental program provides an opportunity for fifth-grade students to extend their musical knowledge.
  • Orchestra is open to fourth and fifth graders who want to pursue learning stringed instruments.
  • Participating students perform in a variety of programs including a winter and spring concert, town parades and other special activities.

Special education students participate in the regular classroom activities, as much as is appropriate to their individual learning needs. The regular classroom teacher, the special education teachers and paraprofessionals provide services and/or instruction. Specific needs of students are met through the use of small group instruction in the least restricted environment within or outside of the regular classroom. Students who have been identified under IDEA or PL 504 are provided support and/or therapy through our speech and language department, our occupational therapy and physical therapy departments, our school counselors, and our district social worker and school psychologist.

South School’s staff includes 1.2 FTE school counselors, a shared elementary substance abuse counselor and police school resource officer, and a district social worker and
psychologist.

  • Counselors work with classroom teachers toward development and implementation of varying classroom management and instructional strategies.
  • Small group counseling is available to students who express common needs.
  • Students see counselors on a one-to-one basis when parents, teachers, and the counselor feel that it is appropriate for the social, emotional, and intellectual needs of the child.

The Library Media Center provides a comprehensive collection of resources to support the curriculum, to promote an appreciation of reading, and to develop information literacy skills. Additionally, the Library Media Specialist works collaboratively with teachers to develop projects that reinforce these skills. As of 9/1/10, the collection includes: 17,371 circulating items; 455 reference volumes; three electronic data base subscription services and 28 periodical subscriptions. Presently, there are ten library computers available to support teaching and learning as well as a variety of other audio-visual and technology resources.

Computers with internet access for instructional use are located in the classrooms and in the library media center. Two mobile labs of 25 computers are also available for classroom use. Technology skills and benchmarks are integrated into the curriculum.

All students at South School receive physical education instruction once a week. The focus of the program is on safety, sportsmanship, and physical fitness. The physical education department also organizes and oversees a number of after school fitness activities during the year.

  • An intramural program is held for six weeks during the winter months for all interested students.
  • The PE department also trains and supports those fifth-graders who wish to participate in the allelementary cross-country race held each fall.

South School is fortunate to be actively supported by our PTA and Parent Volunteers. The PTA sponsors a number of school-wide and special programs, which enrich our students’ elementary school experience. The PTA typically meets on the first Wednesday of each month. South School students have participated in the Reflections Program, a PTA event.

South School students are able to participate in a variety of extra-curricular activities, including:

  • The Sum+It Math Program
  • Destination ImagiNation
  • The Wee Deliver Program
  • Safety Patrol
  • Student Council
  • Apprentice Gardeners
  • Chess Club
  • Drama Club
  • Cross Country Team
  • Young Entrepreneurs
  • Band
  • Orchestra
  • Chorus
  • Annual Art Show
  • Art Club

South School was built in 1978 as a 26 classroom building to house approximately 500–550 students in grades Readiness through six. Eight portable classrooms were added to the original core facility in order to accommodate a larger student population. A full size gymnasium and two new bathrooms were added in 1997. In December 2008, a renovation/addition project was completed and the portable classrooms were removed.