Olive J. Dodge Elementary School was recently recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. Located in the suburban Cottage Hill area of Mobile, Dodge School serves as a shining example of the best that our public schools have to offer. Possessing a reputation as an award winning school in the area of parent and community involvement, Dodge has grown in size and population since it opened with facilities for 670 students in 1967. During the fall of 1997, through a collaborative effort of our staff, students, parents, and school board representatives, a multipurpose building, which is used for physical education classes, school programs, and community activities, was built. Half of our students were able to move from twenty-one portable classrooms into two new classroom additions. The 2000 – 2001 school year saw our student population of 934 students in kindergarten through fifth grade band together as we met the unique challenges that occurred when our original building was completely renovated and additional classrooms were added.
The mission of Olive J. Dodge Elementary School is to provide a safe, nurturing, and challenging environment where students will be productive, responsible citizens who incorporate integrity and critical thinking into their daily lives. Our socio-economic population is indicative of the neighborhood surrounding our school, and this mission helps to guide us as we endeavor to meet the needs of all our students. We at Dodge consider ourselves champions of the environment and our school is characterized by a concern for the world around us as our students strive to become environmental stewards. Parents and teachers have been awarded grants that have helped us implement an aluminum can recycling program, plant a vegetable garden, and build an outdoor classroom to provide teachers the opportunity to extend instruction outdoors and engage students in many hands-on activities relating to the environment.
Our faculty and staff are committed to preparing our students for a highly technical society. All of our classrooms are wired for the Internet and are equipped with SMARTBoards as well as several computers and tablets. A computer lab is located near our media center. Besides being available for class instruction, these devices are utilized with the Accelerated Reader program, Reading Eggs, Tumblebooks, Starfall, and the Scantron computerized assessment plan, which were established to enhance our reading program. We also have newly renovated collaboration spaces in the library and in the collaboration room which students can utilize to work on collaborative projects. Our school participates in BYOD where students can bring their own device to access the network and complete class assignments.
Recognizing the importance of having parents feel that they are an integral part of their children’s school experience, we encourage our parents to become involved in all aspects of Dodge School. Our success is evidenced by our Eagle’s Nest Community Playground that was built in the fall of 1999 by parents and community volunteers. Our parents have helped to build a recycling center, create a butterfly garden, and establish a wetland area, as well as serve as volunteers in individual classrooms, the health room, the computer lab, and the library.
Olive J. Dodge Elementary School currently serves a student population of 948 students in Pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. Our enrollment has remained steady over the past few years. The diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds of our students are reflective of the community in which we are located. The ethnic composition of our school is 38% White, 52% Black, 33% Asian, and 7% Hispanic.
Dodge School offers a large variety of cocurricular activities in addition to the academic curriculum. These cocurricular activities allow the students to grow physically, emotionally, and socially as well as academically. Some of these opportunities include Student Council, Pull-Tabs for Ronald McDonald House, Thanksgiving and Christmas gift baskets, collecting clothing for the needy, Jump Rope for Heart, Senior Bowl Charity Run, Caryn's Kids Fun Run, and the Azalea Trail Run. Additional cocurricular activities include, National Elementary Honor Society, Robotics, Math Team, EYE, Running Club, National PTA Reflections Cultural Arts Contest, Student Council, Safety Patrol, Hall Librarians, Hospitality Hosts, Honor Choir, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts. We also offer clubs to 4th and 5th grade students on Friday afternoons at 2:00. Students self-select the club in which they would like to participate. Because of the large variety of cocurricular activities offered at Dodge, there is a high participation rate among the students.
Dodge School is fortunate to have several Partners in Education that assist and support the programs at our school. Dodge’s Partners in Education are as follows:
- Firehouse Subs (Grelot Rd.)
- Applebee’s (Government Blvd.)
- Texas Roadhouse
- Kingswood United Methodist Church
- The Grounds
- Marco’s Pizza (Cottage Hill)
- USA Jags
- Chill Yogurt
- The Teacher’s Stop
- Corpus Christi Church