School Dispatches: April 26, 2017

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British International School of Washington

This week was our first week back from our much-needed spring break. From IB and IGCSE exam practice, to various extracurricular activities students hit the ground running.

Most notably, for the last couple of weeks our school has taken part in a global Nord Anglia completion, working in partnership with UNICEF. The Project is focusing on the United Nations’ sustainable development goals and we, as a school, have to help find solutions for goal number two: no hunger; and goal number three: good health and well-being. Our school is planning on expanding our garden and sending the produce grown to homeless shelters. This week we completed the essay and started working on the video that explains our project, which four delegates from our school will take to New York to present at the UN.

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But the hard work didn’t just start during the school week. During the spring break, a group of students went to the IB University Fair to meet with many representatives from respected universities across the globe. Students got to learn about universities in cities they had never considered before, as well as hearing more about schools they were interested in.

— Sofia Hollowell, Year 11 (10th-grader)

Maret School

In celebration of Environmental Spirit Week, we went to the Anacostia River to take a boat ride and learn about the Anacostia watershed. We enjoyed observing the different animals that live on the river. We watched one osprey swoop down to catch a fish in its talons, then eat the fish by using its beak to strip it into pieces.

We heard about a pair of bald eagles living in the trees at the National Arboretum. When our boat went under a highway bridge, we saw barn swallows whose nests are attached to the underside of the bridge. Pigeons lived near the bridge, too. We also saw Canada geese eating buttercups, and along the banks we saw mallard ducks looking for food in the river. Besides all the birds, there were many turtles sunning themselves on logs.

We took this trip to the river because we are studying shad. We learned that the water from many different rivers flows into the ocean. Sometimes rain carries litter and pollution into the ocean. Our class is raising shad eggs in a hatchery in our science lab. When the eggs hatch we will return to the Anacostia and put them in the river. We are hoping they will survive there, swim to the Chesapeake Bay and make it a home for more generations of fish.

— Ms. Tomasi-Carr’s first-graders

National Presbyterian School

The spring musical for the National Presbyterian School is “Willy Wonka Kids,” performed by fifth- and sixth-graders. The students have been working really hard on preparing for this production from the start of January all the way to late April. On April 19, the directors, actors and backstage crew got together for a rehearsal lasting from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. During that timespan they performed the musical three times and made sure everything went well before their matinee performance the next day.

On April 20, the cast and crew performed their musical with their teachers and fellow students as their audience. The audience didn’t know what to expect and the cast members put on an exceptional performance, and the show was enjoyed by everyone. I would like to give credit to the directors, Mr. Nolan, Mrs. Kilpatrick, Ms. Shuford and Mrs. Durbin. On April 21 and 22, the cast and crew members were scheduled to perform for parents, grandparents and special friends.

Hopefully everything went according to plan and they had a great performance. After the finale, the cast and crew have their cast party with pizza and cake.

— Nelson Dorsey, fifth-grader

School Without Walls High School

Two weeks ago, 16 members of our Youth and Government Club joined teams from other D.C.-area schools for a legislative conference at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill. The two-day conference, hosted by the Greater Washington Area YMCA, featured clubs from half a dozen high schools and many more delegations from YMCA clubs representing multiple schools.

The Walls delegation, sponsored by the inestimable Ms. Kerry Sylvia, made a solid impression at the conference. Every Walls team member either wrote a bill alone or with a team partner, which was then judged by a legislative committee of students. The conference, based on the District government’s parliamentary procedure, was led by Youth Mayor Ben Dormus, a Walls senior, who passed the torch to current junior Kofi Bullock.

Walls swept in the elections for next year’s conference chairs, with all three positions to be held by Walls students. Moreover, every legislative proposal presented by Walls students was passed by the youth mayor after a weekend of committee meetings.

— Michael Edgell, 11th-grader

Washington International School

At our middle school, this is Spirit Week. We also have a house program (new this year) in the middle school, with six houses. If we dress up for Spirit Week, then it counts for house points. So if everyone in our homeroom dresses up, we get more points. House points are very important because whichever house has the most points will be able to skip the lunch grill line on Fridays.

This year’s Spirit Week consists of Pajama Day, Hat Day, Crazy Hair Day, Twin Day and House Color Day.
This year’s Spirit Week has had a lot of participation because every student wants to be able to skip the line for grill. For Crazy Hair Day, all the girls brought extra hair ties for the boys. Having everyone dress up and to see the whole middle school separated in six house colors is really cool.

Everyone is full of spirit for the house program. It is amazing to see how our students have come together to cheer for their houses and to make the biggest possible effort to try to win. Our school was competitive to begin with, but when we started the house program it became more of a friendly competition.

— Emily Muenzer, seventh-grader