Recognizing Great American Schools for over 30 Years

Meriwether Lewis Elementary School – Charlottesville, VA

Award Year 2013

Meriwether Lewis Elementary School

1610 Owensville Road

Charlottesville, VA 22901-9407

Phone: (434) 293-9304

Kimberly Cousins, Principal

436 Students, Grades: K – 5

Public School

School Website

Albemarle County Public Schools

 

Mission

Meriwether Lewis seeks to continually and creatively engage the hearts, minds and bodies of all students in lifelong learning and success in a global community.
 

Student Demographics

  • Black/African American: 1%
  • White/Caucasian: 91%
  • Hispanic: 3%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 1%
  • Asian: 2%
  • Native American: 1%
  • Other: 1%
  • ELL: 3%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: 10%
 
 
Students collaborate and communicate to produce a creative product that reinforces their learning and engages other students, with the use of interactive technologies.

Students collaborate and communicate to produce a creative product that reinforces their learning and engages other students, with the use of interactive technologies.

Dr. Pam Moran, the Superintendent for Albemarle County Public Schools, often says the key to academic excellence is in understanding that students should be educated for their century and not hers. That requires a heavy emphasis on what Meriwether Lewis principal Kimberly Cousins describes as the four Cs, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication.

Those four Cs translate to a march away from the traditional approach of the 20th century to a more innovative, exciting and engaging instructional model equal to the challenges students will face later in the 21st century when they are ready to become accomplished professionals.

Among school values are an emphasis on student-centered learning, a devotion to healthy body, healthy mind environments and the involvement of an experience-rich local community eager to share in the intellectual and social maturity of students.

Students have an important say in designing the learning environments that fit their learning style, from colors and furniture in the classrooms to where and how students sit during class. Instruction is most effectively delivered through projects not workbooks and teachers are facilitators not lecturers.

Activity breaks throughout the day keep students fresh and sharp. A “Morning Movers” program featuring school-produced videos of students dancing, exercising, moving, invites all students to do the same in real time.

Meriwether Lewis’ strength is the depth and quality of its community partnerships. Staff, teachers, students, parents and grandparents, guest speakers and volunteers, many who do not have a link to a child in school, come together to share life experiences, open windows to universities, museums and businesses and provide the support and resources that truly unleash the potential of every single student.