CPRE : Consortium for Policy Research in Education

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Case Study

Inglewood Elementary School Lansdale, PA

Situated on rolling hills within the largely suburban, residential community of Lansdale, PA, Inglewood Elementary School serves students in kindergarten through grade 6. The school is part of the North Penn School District, comprised of seven separate municipalities. The school district currently serves more than 13,000 students in 13 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, and 1 high school. Despite the large size of the North Penn School District, the professional community at Inglewood Elementary School has carved out a unique role for itself. The professional atmosphere and commitment to student achievement coupled with a strong partnership with the Merck Institute for Science Education (MISE) formed in 1993, have enabled students at Inglewood Elementary School to receive high-quality science instruction from teachers confident both in their abilities to use inquiry-based methods and their firm grasp of science content.

Located in one of the wealthiest counties in Pennsylvania, the North Penn School District covers 42 square miles and has over 90,000 residents. The community has experienced rapid growth in population as developers pave over family farms to make way for homes and office parks. Many of the new houses in the area are described as “executive homes,” reaching upwards of $500,000 in price. Residents in the district tend to have middle- and upper-middle-class income levels, with more recent newcomers at the higher end of the socioeconomic scale.

Inglewood Elementary School is a one-story building organized by grade levels, with three classrooms per grade. Each corridor has assigned grades: a primary wing with grades K-1, an intermediate wing with grades 2-3, and an upper-level wing with grades 4-6. Students at Inglewood are served by 20 regular classroom teachers and several specialized teachers. Besides instruction in core subjects — reading/language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science — students receive art, music, and physical education. Special programs and services are also available to meet the needs of individual students. The school offers a Gifted and Talented program, speech service, English-as-a-secondlanguage, reading and mathematics supplementary instruction, as well as instructional support. For the most part, students receive their science instruction from the regular classroom teacher. The exception to this is in grade 6, which is semi-departmentalized. At the sixthgrade level, one teacher instructs all classes in science. One principal administers the school.

With just over 480 students, Inglewood is one of the smaller elementary schools in the district. Students are proportionally distributed across the grades with the exception of a slightly smaller kindergarten population (11%) and a slightly larger sixth-grade population (17%) as compared to the other grades. Using free and reduced-price lunch counts, state data indicate 8.5% of the students are from low-income families. This percent is slightly lower than the district average of 11.5% and much lower than the state average of 30.8%. Demographically, the background of the school’s students parallels the racial/ ethnic diversity of the North Penn School District. About 84% are White and the remaining 16% represent a variety of racial/ethnic groups.

Publication Date

March 2003