Principals Message

Tucked in the Northwoods, Florence Elementary School serves over 200 students 4K through sixth grade. When I first walked through the doors to start the 2011 school year as a teacher, I was welcomed by colleagues, students, and families. Four years ago,  my position grew to the Elementary Principal and District Special Education Director. 

Staff members at Florence Elementary School are committed to improving student learning, empowering student growth, and community building. Students are part of a school community that supports each other in the classroom and in the school as a whole. All students 5K through 6th, participate in teacher-led activities each month called Treehouses. During Treehouse activities, students make new friends, get to know another teacher, and older students demonstrate leadership skills. Students in 4th through 6th grade are involved in clubs twice per week which allows the kids to practice academic skills in a novel environment and find connections with other students in a shared interest. All students are taught an evidence-based social skills curriculum called Second Step in their classroom. 

Not only do students have an opportunity to grow and learn, but so do the teachers. All teachers participate in Professional Learning Communities which are groups that collaborate on improving practice in the classroom. During professional development days and staff meetings, teachers learn about compassion resilience, adult social-emotional learning, standards, best practices, and reviewing testing data from students. 

Parents can also participate in the Florence Elementary School community. Twice per year, there are parent/teacher conferences to discuss your child(ren)’s success and areas for growth. Families can attend our family nights twice per year, STEM Night in October and Literacy Night in March. If you have some time or talent there are volunteer opportunities both in the classrooms or with PTO, a wonderful organization that supports students. There are lots of other ways to be involved in your child’s education by making sure they get to school each day, asking about something they learned or found interesting, or by reading/listening to a book together. 

As a team, families, teachers, support staff, and administration, collaborate to positively affect the lives of children. 

Vanessa Schimmelpfenning

Elementary Principal

Director of Special Education