About Us

One Sylvester Ave.
Berrien Springs, MI 49103
269-471-8856 (fax)

Greetings and Welcome to Sylvester Elementary!

We are excited to have your child attending our school. Sylvester has approximately 430 students including: hearing impaired classrooms, pre-school classrooms for students with speech & language impairments, and general education classrooms. Also, in our building are the Berrien County Hearing Impaired & Audiology Center along with District Special Education Offices. In addition to grades 3-5 general education classrooms, we also provide music education, art education, physical education and library/computers. For students meeting qualification guidelines, we also offer: special education programming (Resource Rooms), speech, Title I, and Social Work services. There are also a variety of extra-curricular activities that your child will be offered. All of these educational opportunities and services combine to make Sylvester Elementary a diverse and inviting environment for ALL children to learn!

To ensure that your child receives the best education, our teachers and staff are trained in current, research-based practices. A “workshop" style approach is used to teach both reading and writing. Reader's and Writer's Workshop offers all of the necessary 21st century skill components for a child's literary success. Bridges Math is used to teach real life problem solving skills, while also keeping a balance with teacher directed instruction and hands-on instruction. Our science curriculum is kept up-to-date by the use of Project Lead The Way, and our Social Studies instruction provides thought provoking instruction through the use of Social Studies Alive and MAISA Units.

Frequent assessments in the area of mathematics, reading, and writing play an important role in making sure your child receives a quality education. M-STEP (Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress) testing takes place in the spring. This test is given to all 3rd-8th graders in the state of Michigan during the spring. NWEA (MAP; Measures of Academic Progress) testing is done in fall, winter, and spring. This test gives us information on how our students are performing in comparison to other children on a national scale. DRA2 (Developmental Reading Assessment) given 3 times per year) is used to determine a child's reading level by looking at accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. In turn, independent reading strengths are a focus, and teachers are able to key in on specific areas of weakness. Common Core formative assessments in the area of mathematics are given on a quarterly basis to check for understanding as students progress throughout the year.

For maximum learning to take place we must be sure that your child feels safe and secure at our building. Sylvester Elementary has implemented the “Safe and Civil Schools" method of practice. Through this approach our staff and students foster respect and responsibility, while at the same time developing a more positive school environment and culture by:

  1. Developing better behavior management strategies in schools.
  2. Learning effective classroom management procedures.
  3. Implementing school-wide Positive Behavior Support and Response-to-Intervention for Behavior.
  4. Designing and implementing a more effective school improvement plan.

Berrien Springs Public Schools and Sylvester Elementary take pride in the diverse environment that your child will experience on a daily basis. Currently, there are over 65 different cultures represented in our district! This cultural diversity blends in successfully with all of the programming offered throughout our district, and allows for all of our students to be successful both socially and academically.

You play an important part in the educational success of your child! For a child to experience maximum educational and social growth it is vital that the school and home work closely together. Setting aside time for school work and promoting the importance of education must be a message that comes from the school and home environment. Take time to come and visit or volunteer to see what Sylvester Elementary can provide for your child!

We look forward to providing your child with a superior educational experience!

Keeping Kids First,

Chelsea Pollyea


Director of Federal Programs


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