Elementary
Student Experience

A conversation with Kim Indelicato, Elementary School Principal

Background

I spent my entire professional life working at CCUSD. I started teaching PE at the middle school, became a teacher, moved to assistant principal at the high school, served as the principal for Linwood Howe Elementary School, and now am the Coordinator of School and Family Support Services.  I’ve enjoyed each role, and each level presents different joys and challenges.

What makes CCUSD unique? It’s truly our diversity. Our community spans the spectrum of ethnicities, socio-economic status, religions, languages spoken in the home, and family structures and I have found our students are much more likely to group themselves by their interests than by their demographic groups. Additionally, the district is unique in how much we value the arts. We are a huge arts district, from kindergarten through high school. Arts allow our students to express themselves in different ways. Our vision includes arts integration, affording students opportunities to work with community partners, and to become leaders themselves. Our focus on the arts differentiates us from other districts.

Describe your vision for the elementary school experience: We develop a shared curriculum and philosophy across elementary campuses that highlight and support the individuality of character and personality for every student. We get there by exposing students to and developing for students a wide variety of experiences. I’m imagining much more than the typical content of art, science, dance, film, media, and music. 

During their elementary experience, students should have a multitude of experiences in community engagement and environmental stewardship, and the curriculum should encompass subjects such as leadership and collaboration. It’s important that students feel comfortable being themselves and that their personality is deeply valued. That’s our vision—having students feel that they themselves are celebrated. 

How should these experiences change or look different in the future? While it is hard imagining everything that will be possible in the future, I know communication will continue to become more important. It needs to filter back into the learning environment, whether it is incorporating projects with students across the country or around the world. At Lin Howe, we want our students to develop their ability to communicate interpersonally, utilize technology to enhance their communication when appropriate, and to be able to communicate their social and emotional needs.

Is the current environment preventing you from achieving your vision, if at all? We are currently very limited by space and the space we have is not flexible space.  For example, we do not have any space other than the cafeteria where two or more classes can gather and the teachers can co-teach.  Additionally, we lack space to have a designated art room, music room, or Makerspace classroom.  While I wouldn’t say the current environment is preventing us from achieving our vision, I think it is hindering our ability to achieve it to our full potential.