Chevy Chase Citizens Association: June 21, 2017

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Lafayette Elementary School went through an extensive renovation in 2016. (Brian Kapur/The Current/August 2016)

Last week, Lafayette Elementary School finished a successful first year in its newly refurbished building at Broad Branch Road and Northampton Street NW. The 765 students enjoyed spacious classrooms, sunlit hallways and four new playgrounds, though the first few months presented some challenges. The school year began with an unfinished gym, and playgrounds weren’t installed until winter. Nevertheless, the school was in full swing from day one and introduced many new experiences, including coding and science events, a Pi Day 5K race and an all-school art project based on the game “Telephone.”

Students gave back to the community during several events, including a day dedicated to making comfort cases for children in foster care and a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service devoted to making sandwiches and cards for emergency response personnel and the elderly.

Lafayette students also showed off their knowledge in a series of “informances” in every grade. These included the first-grade Zoo-seum, the second-grade Wax Museum of Inventors, the third-grade DC Theater Cafe, the fourth-grade Battle of the Books and the fifth-grade Civil War Museum.

The school also hosted two Arts Nights and two Field Days. The parent organization — the Home and School Association — held several fundraising events, including the fall festival, spring fair, auction and homecoming dance. The association’s funds pay for educational materials, teacher grants, school supplies, extracurricular activities and other needs, including Lafayette’s Peace Program, which is part of the school’s curriculum.

Lafayette introduced a flag football team this spring, and the school’s athletes had a successful year in various sports. The girls’ basketball team and the Lafayette archery team both won the city’s elementary school championships, and the archery team traveled to Kentucky to participate in a tournament sponsored by the National Archery in the Schools Program.

Next year, Lafayette’s enrollment is expected to grow to 796 students. The school will add two new special education classrooms that will serve students with a variety of disabilities. Writing to the school community, Lafayette principal Carrie Broquard said: “It excites me to think that Lafayette is continuing to expand our inclusivity and working to educate and involve all students in the amazing things we do.”

— Tammy Horn and Sophie Hanrahan