Independence Elementary where all individuals are inspired to think and learn Independently and show good character at all times.


Click here for the latest episode of INDTV

Lights, camera, action. Actually, it’s learning in action, with a camera. INDTV is broadcasting from Independence Elementary with your hosts – the students.  

OK, so there’s no studio lighting, no makeup professional, and no advertisers to make happy. The only people who need to be made happy are the producers and reporters, themselves. In that, INDTV is a deserving of an Emmy. These students just have fun learning technology, communication, and social skills by making television.

It’s a lot of introductory production skills, so they’re not making “NCIS” or even “60 Minutes.” But they are making television at the elementary school level. It’s an amazing feat for any school, much less at that level. The students run a camera and record other students in front of a green screen (like a meteorologist, or weather person, is recorded), read off a teleprompter (just like a news anchor), and then edit the recorded footage on a computer (just like a real editor does). These are real-life, media skills these first through fifth graders are experiencing hands-on.

The students that applied for this team had to fill out an application, and go through a rigorous selection process, including screening and interviews for various positions.

Independence Elementary Principal Emily Pavia spoke proudly of these miniature media magnates. “Most of the students that applied to be on the team made it in some area,” Pavia said, alluding to how quickly they picked up the technology. “Some of the students knew where they wanted to serve on the team and others figured it out once they got started with the help of the adult leaders.”

Principal Pavia gave credit to a group of teachers and staff who spearheaded INDTV, including Linda Cokley, Maggie Henke, Jill Kelly, Julie Lonigro, and Ryan Fall.


Maggie Henke, the Library Media Specialist at Independence Elementary, talked about how they got INDTV on the air. “I had seen it at a couple other schools in the District (Fairmount Elementary and Central Elementary),” she said, “and then at the METC (Midwest Education Technology Conference). I just noticed how much the students enjoyed watching themselves on the TV.” (Editor’s note: Daniel Boone Elementary does television, as well.)

And the advisors try not to micromanage these progressing pundits, allowing the students to learn by doing. Principal Pavia said INDTV is just another example of how the school wants their students to take ownership of what they do – to help them develop into leaders. “We have several leadership teams at our school,” Principal Pavia said. “We want to have the students, essentially, doing as much as they can for our school. We want to empower our children. We, as adults, want to be as hands-off as possible. They’ll become more responsible leaders because of that.”

That goes for many of the leadership teams Independence Elementary has, such as INDTV. Pavia said, “The students know how our building runs. They know what leadership opportunities they have. They want to be involved and make a difference in their school. We want that happening even more at the primary level as well. It is happening at intermediate levels and we want it happening universally, at all levels.”

A member of the INDTV crew, Elise Kehoe, said, “I love it because I get to be in the spotlight. It’s fun to help people and have people help me. It’s a great time because you get to be filmed, and be around other people.”

Another crew member, Brooke Lewis, explained why it’s so much fun. “It’s pretty fun because you get to hang out with people, and do things like talk about scripts.”

Brigid Reichart said with a smile, “I like getting recorded because it’s so much fun. And when the broadcast goes out, everyone gets to see what you did.”

But you don’t have to want to be in front of a camera to work in television. There are many who work behind the scenes to make television an enjoyable viewing experience. Maggie Henke talked about what is gained by students by participating in INDTV. “Just taking ownership,” she said, “and being proud of their school. They just love to use the technology, too. They have to work together, and they develop writing skills. They have to brainstorm what kind of ideas they can use to put on the broadcast, and then work together to record, write the script, type up the teleprompter. And they love to see the finished product.”


Audrey Abeln said, “I enjoy filming people, running the camera. And it’s great because I get to meet new people.”

Brooke Lewis said, “I like the running the teleprompter because the job is basically helping people. I love helping people.”

One of the student producers for INDTV, Katherine Foster, said, “The best part is seeing it all come together, all the hard work we did to make it. I enjoy helping because I’m a producer, and my job is to make the broadcast run better.”

Producing INDTV requires teamwork and collaboration, and the students truly enjoy being part of the team. Foster said, “It really makes you feel like you’re an important part of the school, that we make the school even better than it already is.”

Or consider the perspective of Harper Downing, who just moved from the Pattonville district. Because of INDTV, she said, “I made a lot of friends, which is great because I’m new to the district. I like being a reporter, and working with other reporters and producers. The teachers have helped a lot. If you join INDTV, you’ll feel like part of a team.”

It’s fun for the students, and for the teachers. Henke said, “It’s fun for me because the students enjoy it so much. These are skills for the future with the technology. And, of course, they’re working together, which prepares them for future projects in and out of school.”

“It’s a work in progress,” Principal Pavia said. INDTV is only on its second broadcast in December. “Other buildings are a bit further ahead, I think, than we are. But it’s so amazing to see what the students have created, and they’re so eager and excited. I think that it’s definitely something that we’d like to see grow and become more frequent. But it’s just another step with technology.”

It might be more than a step; having elementary students using this kind of technology in a beneficial way, both for them and the school, is a giant leap.

Linda Cokley, the Gifted Education Specialist at Independence Elementary, and advisor to INDTV, said, “I enjoy technology, but really enjoy watching the kids learn. They’re learning about new technology and ways they can use it, and hopefully some of them will find the passion for video or something else we do at Independence TV.”

With just two broadcasts of INDTV in the can, as they say in the industry, one student already is fully considering a future in broadcasting. Brigid Reichart said with wide eyes, and an even wider smile, “Yes, I just like doing this.”

Stay tuned.

Watch the December broadcast of INDTV on SchoolTube:


It’s that time of year again when we start collecting for our basket raffle theme baskets. The Independence Elementary Annual Basket Raffle has begun and runs through February 4, 2015.  Each year, teachers select a theme for their class and collect donated items from students to be included in their classroom basket. Each class has their own fun, unique theme!

Please send your donations in with your student. We would also like one person from each class to donate a Rubbermaid-style container to display and hold the items.

FOR ALL 5TH GRADE CLASSES! Instead of having separate class baskets, the entire 5th grade will be collecting cash donations (any amount) and then purchasing (1) large item to raffle (i.e. Wii System or Xbox System) to represent the entire 5th grade. We can accept cash (please put in envelope marked 5th grade raffle) or checks can be made payable to Independence PTO and in the memo section please write “5th grade raffle.

The auction baskets are always a big hit and provide a substantial contribution to PTO funds that are used throughout the year at our school.

Thank you so much for your continuous support to make this event a success!

Here are important dates to remember.

 Donation collection begins January 7th.


Protecting Your Family Against the Flu

Cold and flu season is here. Please consult with your child’s physician to find out when flu shots will be available for your family. Students with chronic health conditions, including asthma, and those who are immunocompromised are highly encouraged to obtain a flu shot early.

 Learning Commons Book Collection Guidelines

FHSD Learning Commons have a broad selection of books, in print and online, available for checkout.  You may see what we have to offer by clicking on the ‘Learning Commons’ tab on your school’s web page and then select ‘Find a Book’. Destiny, our library management system, will allow you to search the collection by entering specific book titles, authors, or subjects. You may see the E-book collection by clicking the ‘Follett Shelf’ tab, log in with your student’s login credentials:

(Login: firstinitiallastnamelast3digitsofID# and password: student ID)

You may then search the E-book collection by searching in the same manner.  We hope you will find that Independence’s collection offers engaging choices that will foster a love of reading in your child.  If you have questions or concerns regarding specific items in the collection, feel free to contact Maggie Henke at

  February 2015  
Go to Main Calendar
Upcoming Events
   Papa Johns Night
   Feb 03 2015
   Family Night
   Feb 10 2015
   PTO Meeting
   Feb 10 2015 at 06:00 PM
   No School/PD
   Feb 13 2015
   No School
   Feb 16 2015