William Harris Elementary receives Title I funding from the Federal government.  These funds are used to provide professional development for teachers to ensure that they are using “best practices” in the teaching of reading, writing, and math to all students.  These funds are also used to purchase materials that are scientifically research-based as effective learning tools.  The No Child Left Behind Act requires schools to meet certain state levels of achievement each year. Title I funds are used to insure that this happens.



    We have a computer lab in Room 7.  Students will receive from 30 to 60 minutes of instruction each week with a computer aide.


    Internet Access:  Prior to Internet Access, all parents and students must sign an Internet and Technology Use Policy.

    This information is covered in full detail in your STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT/PARENT HANDBOOK.



    William Harris School participates in the Gifted Program funded by the State which includes programs devoted to creativity. 


    Special programs are scheduled at William Harris each year that feature literacy, music, science, and many other areas.  Our classes also take many exciting field trips.  Various guest speakers and programs are scheduled in the classroom.  We emphasize programs that enrich the literacy development of our children and our PBIS initiative.  The William Harris Booster Club and Decatur Public School Foundation support our enrichment activities.



    Mathematics is taught every day in all grades (K-6).  The math series, EnVision, will be used by K-5 students.  This program has a strong “hands-on” component that will make our students better problem solvers.  6th graders will use Connected Math, the same series that is used in grades 7-8. This will allow a more integrated approach to preparing those students to start Algebra in high school. Strong emphasis is placed on being able to problem solve, as well as basic facts and computation according to the grade level of the student.  Pre and Post tests are used for diagnostic information, and to prescribe instructions for the class as well as the individual.


    We use current data to monitor our students’ progress in math.  This allows us to know when mastery of math concepts is made and how students are developing.



    Students in K-6 general education classes will have a 90 minute minimum block of reading instruction daily.  Some students may require a longer period of intensive, individualized reading instruction.  Best practices in phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension will be utilized by staff to help all students attain grade level and beyond reading skills.  Writing, spelling, and grammar skills will be incorporated within the context of the reading block.


    Parents are encouraged to have their child read at least 20 minutes daily at home to reinforce the comprehension skills being taught at school.



    Each child in grades 1 - 6 will receive general music instruction from the music specialist once each week.  A glee club for intermediate grade students will be formed in September. 


    Orchestra instruction is available to students in the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades; band is available to all fifth and sixth grade students.  Classes begin the middle of September.


    A student that is enrolled in performing groups is required to attend practices and performances.  Failure to appear usually results in the student being dropped from the group unless he/she has an excused absence verified by the teacher.




    All students in K through 6 receive physical education classes once each week from a specialist.  Classroom teachers teach physical education on days when the specialist is not here.


    Gym shoes are important for the safety of the children, but it is not necessary for students to have special shoes for physical education.  If your child wears gym shoes to school, he/she may wear the same shoes for gym.


    Physical education equipment is provided by the school.  Skateboards, roller skates, baseballs, bats and other potentially dangerous equipment are not allowed at school.  Extra-curricular activities will be offered as funds and staff is available.  An intramural basketball program will be available to 4th-6th graders for a few weeks in the fall with a competitive 6th grade program conducted November – January for both boys and girls.