School Dispatches: Feb. 21, 2018

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Sheridan School students perform at the school's annual talent show. (photo courtesy of Sheridan School)

British International School of Washington

One of the many influential clubs at our school is the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) club, a student-run meeting intended to implement the United Nations’ SDGs into our school.

Nord Anglia, the company that runs our school and others around the world, has secured a partnership with UNICEF whereby students are able to communicate with UN officials to integrate these goals better into the local community. The goals that have been assigned to us this year are goals 11 and 12: sustainable cities and communities, and responsible consumption.

In order to help reach these goals our school has taken part in various activities such as removing all plastic usage from the cafeteria, starting a school garden and monitoring the amount of waste our school produces. Our most recent decision is to participate in Eco-Schools USA.

In their own words Eco- Schools USA is a school “program combining green management of school grounds, facilities and curriculum whilst empowering today’s students for a sustainable tomorrow”.  

In order to become an eco- school, our school has to follow a seven-step framework to help establish and monitor the changes our school must make to become more sustainable. The steps are to establish an eco-team; conduct an environmental audit; develop an eco-action plan; monitor/evaluate progress; make connections to curriculum; engage the whole school community; and create an eco-code.

Our school is excited to start the process to become an eco-school, as it is a big step towards integrating the STGs into our school community.

— Sofia Hollowell, Year 12 (11th-grader)

Emerson Preparatory School

Love filled the air as a weeklong celebration of Valentine’s Day and school spirit began within the walls of Emerson Preparatory School. The “Spirit O’ Love” week, as we like to call it, included a range of non-academic activities and festivities.

“Mindfulness Monday,” a relaxing start to the week, encouraged students to don their pajamas and offered a chance to participate in guided meditation during lunch. Tuesday was “Opposite Day,” a great opportunity to show our appreciation for our favorite teachers by dressing like them (and teachers like students)! Teachers put away their ties and dress shirts to wear sneakers and jeans while students took the time to pick out collared shirts and bow ties to show everyone at school.

Valentine’s Day brought with it a ton of sugar and red decorations. The creative poetry class added to the celebration by writing personalized poems for several students, bringing the all-around love-filled day to an end.

Thursday was twin day, with the leaders of the ACLU club wearing matching ACLU shirts for the weekly meeting, in which we talked about the #metoo movement and consent, a great topic for Valentine’s Day. Spirit week wrapped up with the usual “Physical Phriday,” which included a visit to the National Gallery of Art.

— Isabel Fajardo, 11th-grader

Hearst Elementary School

The Sunshine Superstars of Ms. Schiers’ and Ms. Gilmore’s class have been lucky enough to see two amazing stage shows recently.

Last week, we saw “How Old Is A Hero” at the Discovery Theater. In the play, the people were Ernst Green, Claudette Colvin and the star of the show, Ruby Bridges. The show was about three black students persevering to reach their goal of an education. Ruby Bridges was in first grade just like us when she fought segregation. Claudette was 15 and Ernst was 16. This show was educational and taught us how it was back in the day.

This week we saw “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” It was about a boy having a not very good day. Our class really enjoyed the show. We laughed a lot. Field trips are so fun and we always look forward to them.

— Aurora Felton, Reina Saunders and Essien Lewis, first-graders

Horace Mann Elementary School

Have you ever wondered how Horace Mann helps the hungry? We help the hungry by gathering food like apples, carrots, bananas, milk, salad, watermelon, pineapple, juice, oranges and other types of fruit and vegetables. This is organized daily with one box full of milk and the others full of fruits and vegetables.

Some parents at the beginning of the school year volunteer to drive the food to two places: Charlie’s Place and Prepare Campus, where they cook the food and send it over to Friendship Place.

Food Rescue U.S.A. provides the locations and they provided Mann with the opportunity because Mann needs a bigger place to support them. Students help a lot with the program by putting in their food because we know it helps the hungry! Those were my reasons for how Horace Mann helps the hungry, and the best part is you can do it too, because it helps the hungry!​

— Daniela Mendoza, fourth-grader

Lafayette Elementary School

Lafayette is again proving its love of kindness, this time with the “20 Acts of Kindness Challenge.” Participants (anyone at Lafayette) complete 20 acts of kindness. The acts include things like cheering somebody up with a happy dance or holding the door for a fellow student. They are written in English and Spanish, so that everybody can take part in the challenge.

Lafayette’s Spanish teachers, Maestra Rincon (MR) and Senor (SF) Foley started the challenge, so I asked them about it.

What gave you the idea to do the 20 acts of kindness?

SF: The Great Kindness Challenge is done by an organization called Kids for Peace.

MR: We thought it would be a great idea to do the challenge bilingually.

Which act of kindness is your favorite?

SF: Entertain someone with a happy dance, because it’s so easy to cheer someone up. I also like the anonymous act of kindness. I did that one for Ms. Beck [Lafayette’s school secretary].

MR: My favorite is help the custodians because they have so much to do, and if everyone picked something up, their job would be a lot easier.

Do you think you will continue the challenge in future years?

SF & MR: I think so! We would love to.

Do you have anything to add?

SF: I like the challenge because you can jump ahead a week or go back because kindness has no boundaries.

As you can see, the “20 Acts of Kindness Challenge” is a very promising event for Lafayette and other schools that might like to take part. Can you complete these five acts of kindness?

  • Entertain someone with a happy dance
  • Learn to say “Hello” in a new language
  • Make someone laugh
  • Offer to help your custodians
  • Do a secret act of kindness

— Sydney Burgess, fifth-grader

Our Lady of Victory School

Beginning Jan. 28, our school held its annual Catholic Schools Week. Sunday Mass marked the beginning of the fun-filled week. Students were given the option to wear their uniform to church to earn a free dress ticket for school.

Then, Monday we had “pajama day.” Students came to school in their pajamas and some even came in onesies.

On Tuesday students got to wear free dress; however, due to weather conditions we sadly could not go on our field trip to the Bible Museum.

Wednesday was sports day, and those who had won “teacher for a day” at the annual fall benefit gala got to help out their chosen teacher for the day. Students also came in wearing their favorite sport team’s jersey. We also got a delicious pizza lunch! Since we were approaching Friday, “National Day,” each class started making posters representing a different state. Students did research about the state and prepared displays to teach others about their state. My class’s state was California. We made posters depicting all the national parks there.

Then on Thursday, we had holiday day. Students wore the colors of their favorite holiday, such as blue and red for the Fourth of July.

Finally, National Day arrived! Mixed-age groups of students got to visit each classroom, learn about the state, and enjoy games and snacks related to that state and its Catholic heritage.

— Ella T. and Elizabeth M., seventh-graders

Oyster-Adams Bilingual School

Ms. Jackson, one of our elementary teachers, brought in the Channel 7 ABC Storm Team of meteorologists.

Meteorologist Brian van de Graaff talked about cloud types. Normal, puffy clouds are called cumulus. The second type is a very high thin type of cloud called cirrus. The third cloud he talked about was a regular gray day cloud called stratus clouds. Finally the big tall clouds are called cumulonimbus.

Another thing that he talked about was how his team uses air pressure and other tools to determine future weather. Some of the tools they use measure the temperature, precipitation, wind, etc. With this information they give us all of the warnings about storms, floods and snow. We tried to convince Mr. van de Graaff to give us a snow day. Unfortunately he just reports the weather, he doesn’t make it.

— Gabriella Eversley-Holland, Melani Perdomo and William Mynett, sixth-graders

St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School

Grade four students are having new and exciting opportunities as they become part of the Upper School. For example, lockers, a dress code and overnight field trips are now part of our Upper School experience. The National Geography Bee, recitation contest and choir performances at the Cathedral are all highlights.

In grade four, we are learning many chapters of our American story beginning with the 13 Colonies and concluding with the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Our studies have taken us on several field trips.

First, we travelled to Chestertown, Maryland, where we sailed on the model of the “Sultana,” which was a British patroller in the Chesapeake Bay during the days of “sneaky taxes.”

We also journeyed to George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, on the Potomac River. There we learned about the life of George and Martha Washington. We met Aladdin, the camel, who Washington enjoyed showing to his many guests. After a tour of his home, we visited his museum filled with many fascinating artifacts, including his dentures made out of hippo teeth. A wing of the museum is dedicated to the role and importance of the enslaved people. Washington freed his enslaved people in his will.

Most recently, we toured the National Archives, where we saw the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It was amazing to see the documents that hold our country together.

These are special memories of a year that we will always hold in our hearts.

— Eliza Young, fourth-grader

Sheridan School

Every winter, Sheridan School holds its annual talent show. It is an event everyone in the school looks forward to, and performers prepare for weeks. First, kindergarteners through third-graders perform and the following week, grades four through eight show off their skills.

Some parents also come to watch and cheer every person on. This year had a variety of performances, including piano, violin, guitar, singing and dancing. From classical music to current pop hits and an Abbot and Costello routine, everyone in the audience had a great time bopping their heads along to great music. Many students teamed up with their friends to create great performances.

Everyone was blown away by the talent of all the performers. We’re sure we have some future stars among us!

— Miriam Akhmetshin, eighth-grader

Stoddert Elementary School

We interviewed our crossing guards, Debra Walker (Ms. Debra), the crossing guard at Calvert and 39th Streets, and Rohjanae Mathis (Ms. Nae), the crossing guard at Calvert and 40th Streets. Here is a summary of our interview.

The crossing guards enjoy their job because they love seeing the students every day and assuring that they are safe.  Their job is only difficult when people and drivers do not follow their directions.  

Parking on the wrong side of the street, parking at the bus stop, speeding, making a U-turn at the intersection and forgetting that pedestrians always have the right of way are everyday challenges for our guards.  They also want walkers to remember to stop at the crosswalk and wait to be told to walk, walk inside the white lines, and keep moving when in the crosswalk.

Remember, their goal is to keep all of us safe.

— Hannah Park, Ryan McDermott, Anastasia Melnik and Naila Verma, third-graders