How Fair Oaks Elementary Prepares Students, Families for Success 

As part of their Educational Day, the 2019 Leadership Cobb Class recently toured Fair Oaks Elementary School where they heard about the steps the school is taking to build a foundation of learning for the students and their families. 

For example, thanks to the use of the K-2 Phonics Program and Cobb’s Early Literacy Initiative, Fair Oaks students are learning the foundational skills needed to be proficient, independent readers. The success of the phonics program is evident in their reading and writing scores.  

To help students who are reading below grade level in grades 3 and 5, the school employs the Read 180 and System 44 programs. Students also have access to tutors. 

Fair Oaks has added the Summit program, which combines science, social studies, literacy, and language development through nonfiction texts, to help students learn academic vocabulary, increase reading comprehension, and continue their English language acquisition.  

The elementary school’s summer bridge program prepares rising sixth graders for academic success in middle school. 

“We are doing everything we possibly can to help [Fair Oaks students] make it to that next level,” Fair Oaks Principal Dean Yoder explained to the Cobb leaders.  

Because family involvement and parental engagement are critical to a student’s success, Fair Oaks Elementary partnered with Northwest Exterminating to host a bilingual family literacy night. The monthly event provides bilingual reading materials, as well as, reading and math strategies that Fair Oaks parents can use at home with their students. Northwest Exterminating is an example of the impact that a community partner can have on a school community.  

To meet the needs of the Fair Oaks families and help them to be able to better communicate with their students, Fair Oaks also offers English classes on Saturdays for non-English speaking parents.  

After learning about all the initiatives and programs that Fair Oaks staff use to help students and parents, the Leadership Cobb Class visited various classrooms throughout the building so they could observe phonics, reading, and writing instruction.  

Fourth and fifth-grade students, like 2017 KidTalk winner Mayrin Hernandez,  escorted the Leadership Cobb class, which is comprised of community and educational leaders from Cobb County and Marietta City Schools, and past Leadership Cobb graduates.  

As they went from class to class, Leadership Cobb participants interacted with Fair Oaks students by joining in kindergarten phonics lessons, buddy reading with students, and conferencing with students on their writing.  

Including a mariachi band and smiling students lined up and down the hall, Fair Oaks gave the Cobb leaders a sendoff fitting enough to make members of the group return to volunteer at the school or offer their support as community members, just like Northwest Exterminating is already doing.