Beams of Light at Jefferson Primary School

Jefferson Principal Valerie Capitulo-Saide and students near the Beam of Light display.

January 25, 2017

Jefferson Primary School students are learning more than just reading, writing and arithmetic.

“During the month of January, Jefferson is focused on teaching our students the importance of caring,” Principal Valerie Capitulo-Saide said.  “We are teaching Jefferson students to place a high value on helping other people.”

Parents have shared specific examples of how their respective son or daughter has demonstrated caring at home or in the community. Submissions by parents are currently being displayed on a new bulletin board near the main office.

The Beam of Light bulletin board is a source of pride for students, parents, teachers, support staff and Ms. Capitulo-Saide, too.

Now more than 50 years old, Jefferson School is still majestic in appearance, featuring a classic postwar suburban design along with the modern instructional spaces required by today’s educational programs.

Sensing the need to add another elementary school to meet the needs of a growing community, the Huntington School District purchased an eight acre tract of land on Oakwood Road more than a half-century ago and in 1961-62 erected what would later be named Jefferson School, in honor of Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States and the author of the Declaration of Independence.

It was the fourth district building named for a U.S. president, with the others being Lincoln, Roosevelt and Washington elementary schools.

Over the years, the parents of Jefferson School students have been extremely supportive of the school and its programs and that same tradition continues today. The school is a single story structure set back from Oakwood Road. A long driveway leads to the building with athletic fields and a large playground visible to the thousands of cars passing by on the busy thoroughfare.

When Jefferson was built, most of the nearby land was used for farming and other agricultural purposes. Today, some of those large areas have been set aside for land perseveration and are forever free of development, although they are no longer used for agricultural endeavors.

The building includes an attractive courtyard area that is used for both educational initiatives and simple enjoyment. Two large wings are connected by a shorter span. There are two playground areas and a fully functional library-media center.

The school features a cafeteria overlooking the school entrance and a gym complete with a stage, allowing it to double as an auditorium for assembly programs and large group gatherings. There is no useable basement.

An attractive stone exterior wall on the east side of the building is a hallmark of the school’s front entrance walkway. A flagpole sits in the midst of an island surrounded by a bus circle. Parking lies adjacent to the bus circle and vehicle spaces line the driveway leading to the building and alongside the playing fields.

The Jefferson students of today are just as energetic as their forebears from the first group that walked through the building’s doors in September 1962.

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