Fort Dorchester Elementary is
Palmetto’s Finest !
Welcome to Fort Dorchester Elementary School
A Gator-rific School!
Harolyn Hess, Principal
My vision is for “All students to be involved in the learning process and challenged to meet their highest potential.” This vision ensures that members of our school family feel empowered to guide and help make decisions. Stakeholders were involved in developing this shared vision and we revisit it periodically to assure that it continues to stay current to our school and community beliefs. Our school motto, “T.A.I.L.S. from the Lowcountry,” encompasses everything to help make our students successful, life-long learners. “T.A.I.L.S.” stands for Teamwork, Achievement, Integrity, Leadership, and Service. Our gators strive to build a community of learners through teamwork with peers, teachers, parents, and community members.
For our school to be effective and make a difference in student learning, we must center on teaching and learning. Realizing teachers have a significant impact on student learning, our teachers strive to ensure students are at the center of learning. Powerful classroom instruction, delivered by the finest teachers, provides our students a rich and meaningful curriculum. The most effective teachers never lose sight of the following four elements: whom they teach (learners), where they teach (learning environment), what they teach (content), and how they teach (instruction).
Our strong PTA, SIC, volunteer program, mentoring program and business partner initiatives involve many aspects of the community in the decision making process. Business Partners participate in school-wide projects such as recognizing outstanding achievement and attendance as well as “adopting a classroom” to provide support in various ways, such as mentoring or providing monetary or material support. We joined with several community organizations to help bring healthy living and community service to life. We partnered with Summerville Medical Center, Master Gardeners, and Katie’s Krops to plant a vegetable garden that is tended by the Gator community. It is our collaborative belief that students are the focus of all we do at our school. Through collective inquiry, we challenge our gators to become thinkers and doers. Our GATOR-RIFIC students are learning the important lessons of giving back to the community.
I am passionate about my role as an instructional leader and coach. I set high expectations and strive to help all stakeholders realize personal growth. I look forward to a wonderful school year where learning is a shared vision with all of our school families. Let’s make this year a school year filled with positive impact and wonderful memories for all!
Harolyn Hess, Principal