Last week at Freedom Elementary we dedicated our 11th all-abilities playground! Each playground is specially designed so that all children can play together. A big thanks to the Weber School Foundation, the Swanson Family Foundation, Besst Realty Group, Freedom Elementary PTA and the incredible members of the community. Without their generous donations and support, these types of projects would not be possible.
For the PTA booster-thon Fun Run, Freedom Elementary principal, Diane Rockwood promised to let the kids make her into an ice cream sundae if they met the goal of $25,000. She also promised to shave 50% of her head if they raised $30,000. The kids raised $30,023!
Freedom Elementary opened its doors in the fall of 2002 amidst a groundswell of patriotism (following the events of September 11th) and pride (as Utah prepared to host the Winter Olympics). 700 students, the first to be called Freedom Patriots, filled the hallways that first year with all the hopes, dreams and promise of our nation’s future.
From the beginning, the name “Freedom” has held special significance. To us, our school’s name is a reminder “of the values of diversity and liberty that we cherish and celebrate…it also represents the character traits of pride and nobility demonstrated by our founding fathers.” Those associated with our school feel a sense of responsibility, duty, and devotion that accompanies the privilege of being a Patriot, knowing our name has been born of service and sacrifice.
Built at a cost of $9,000,000 and sited on 15 acres on the eastern edge of Hooper, between 5500 South and Howard Slough, Freedom grew as rapidly as the neighborhood that surrounded it and soon swelled to over 900 students, prior to a boundary shift in 2009. Our current enrollment, which stands at 730, continues to grow, as the community fills in around us.
Our staff of 65 include: teachers, aides/paraprofessionals, secretaries, cooks, and custodians, along with a school counselor, media specialist, school nurse, speech/language pathologist, school crossing guards, and many other support personnel. In addition to our staff, we have many other school community members, who are vital to helping our students learn and grow. These include: Foster Grandparents, the Freedom PTA, School Community Council, our community business partners, along with approximately 50-70 other volunteers who are helping in our classrooms, reading center, and throughout the school on a daily basis.
In addition to providing comprehensive, core curriculum-based learning to students in kindergarten through 6th grade, we also provide differentiated instruction and special education services, including services to students with severe needs in our functional life skills classroom.