Dr. Theresa Mattison, Principal
If any school should be called a beehive of activity, it is Carstens Elementary School. The students and staff are almost always involved in some active learning experience. Whether it is the ‘Carstens Idol’ talent show, a Ronald McDonald assembly about bullying, earning a Superior rating in the state Project Citizen program, cleaning up the school grounds, or a visit from the Blue Pigs…inside that school, all of their ‘busy-ness’ contributes to the primary goal, student achievement.
The Carstens staff and administration are clearly focused on preparing their students for the world of tomorrow. This ‘village in motion’ works to reach the whole child by also reaching out to parents and others who are involved in the child’s day to day care. They make every effort to meet their students’ basic human needs such as a positive self image, a sense of acceptance and being in touch with your culture. These add to the learning curve.
The core academic curriculum is strong and so are programs for students and parents such as the Saturday Educational Academy, DAPCEP, monthly field trips, Student Council, the Principal’s Club and much more. To enhance learning, Carstens is a uniform school-taking the focus off fashion and helping students to place it where it belongs, on learning.
Being selected as a Skillman Good Schools Making the Grand Grant recipient is a deserved honor because student achievement is happening inside the classrooms. This is one of many awards and grants such as those from the Harry Wong Foundation, United Way, the State of Michigan (Golden Apple), Comer Schools and Families Institute, and the Children’s Aid Society to name a few. They help support the work that goes on in the school. After school the busy Carstens’ students continue learning through play and creative arts-an extension of the academic courses.
Parental involvement is unique. Carstens hosts a year-round Parent University which has been recognized by the prestigious Johns Hopkins University as an Academy of Excellence. The school also offers other sources of information for families in need of medical, legal, and other services. The high performing Carstens students are a result of educational methods that work in a school that has been in the neighborhood for over 80 years.