Opened in 1952, Mercer is situated on a sprawling, tree-lined campus in the northeast section of Shaker Heights. Mercer was awarded a Venture Capital Grant by the Ohio Department of Education to develop and document its school-improvement strategy as a model for schools throughout Ohio.
• 19 to 23 in kindergarten and grade 1
• 23 (average) in grades 2 through 4
• Maximum: About 22
• Total student/faculty ratio (including specialists) is 13 to 1
Classroom Book Buddies
Shared reading between Kindergarten and fourth grade students happens on a weekly basis. Many classes also share reading and writing assignments with students from Woodbury or the Middle school on a monthly basis.
Co-curricular activities are carefully coordinated to complement the school program and build a sense of community. Some activities are provided by the school, while others are made possible by the PTO. Common to all five K-4 schools are:
• Annual Fun Run
• Carnivals and festivals
• Environmental clubs and activities
• Food and clothing drives
• Junior Great Books
• Peer mediation
• Student Council
Beginning with full-day kindergarten, children are exposed to the joy of reading, the thrill of seeing their thoughts transformed into written stories and published books, and the hands-on application of scientific and mathematical concepts.
Supporting the K-4 curriculum are a whole language philosophy used in conjunction with phonics, hands-on mathematics and science instruction, and creative problem-solving. Students learn computer basics beginning in kindergarten and incorporate technology into their work in many subjects. Each classroom and library has at least one computer.
The regular classroom teacher provides daily instruction in:
• Language arts (reading, writing, listening, and speaking)
• Social studies
Specialists provide regularly scheduled instruction in:
• Physical education (2 times weekly)
• Art (weekly)
• Music (weekly)
• Library/research skills (weekly)
• Science lab
• Mandarin Chinese Language (Grades 1-4, weekly)
Field trips help bring the curriculum to life. Destinations for K-4 students include local parks and arboreta, Cleveland’s renowned Museum of Art and Museum of Natural History, the planetarium at Shaker Heights High School, and the Shaker Historical Museum.
Faculty and Staff
Shaker’s faculty members are nationally known for their scholarship and professionalism. Faculty members are heavily involved in curriculum design and are encouraged to pursue research and professional growth. More than 80% hold a master’s degree or higher, and many have published extensively and are frequently called upon to present at professional conferences. One Shaker teacher received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 1996 and another teacher received the award in 2002. This is the highest national award conferred on elementary and secondary teachers. In addition to classroom teachers, each K-4 school has the services of:
• Art specialist
• Music specialist
• Physical education teacher
• Library media specialist
• Academic Resource (enrichment) specialist
• Instructional coach
• Reading Recovery tutor
• English as a Second Language tutor
• Learning disability specialist
• Speech and language specialist