School dispatches: May 23, 2018

Fifth-graders at Sheridan School enjoyed canoeing and other outdoor activities on a trip this month to the school’s Mountain Campus. (Photo courtesy of Sheridan School)

Blessed Sacrament School

I am writing to share a summer activity that many in our area may enjoy if you like having fun. Like many of my classmates, I am in our school’s children’s choir. Along with learning and performing new songs, we have the privilege of taking a trip to Hershey Park in Hershey, Penn. The choir is not the only group of people who get to go; our band and patrols also get to attend. This year’s trip is on June 7, the second to last day of school. It is a great way to end the year.

We will all get to school and take tour buses to Hershey Park. It is close enough to D.C. for a day trip. Hershey Park has many fun rides and food options (including Hershey candy). It is perfect for a one-day adventure. The fifth- and sixth-graders have chaperones, but we have a lot of freedom of which rides we go on and where we eat lunch. At the end of the day, we all meet up at the gift shop and take the bus back to school.

Our school’s Hershey Park trip is super fun and creates lots of great memories. I would recommend it to anyone in the area looking for a fun day trip. At our school, we are very lucky to be able to go on such a great trip.

— Chloe Flax, sixth-grader


British International School of Washington

Since the end of April, Year 13 students have been taking their International Baccalaureate (IB) exams. The IB is a “two-year educational program that aims to develop students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge — students who flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically”, according to the IB website. At the end of these two years, IB students take exams in each of their subjects that cover content from both years of the program. Every year, the exam period brings about a flourish of activity at the British International School of Washington, from last-minute studying, to good luck wishes, to tiptoeing in the hallways. The entire school community is invested in the success of the Year 13 students, and all students and teachers breathed a sigh of relief when these stressful exams ended this week.

Another exciting activity for the school community was the prom, which took place on May 18 at Dumbarton House in Georgetown. The theme of this year’s prom was ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. The prom committee (comprised of Year 12 students) kept to the theme by stringing fairy lights on trees, placing lanterns along the garden walkways and hanging ivy from the chandelier. Despite the inclement weather, all the Year 10 through Year 13 students had a wonderful time celebrating with their classmates.

— Ava Lundell, Year 12 Student (11th-grader)


Emerson Preparatory School

As the year wraps up, fun activities are in full swing here at Emerson. The yearbook club has already ensured that everyone will have a book of memories from the 2017-18 school year; the ACLU club has organized an end-of-the-year visit to Casa Ruby, a nonprofit organization for LGBTQ+ people in need; and the astronomy class has just returned from a camping trip in Shenandoah National Park. Most excitingly, our prom plans are near completion.

“If you want it, you gotta work for it,” says Ms. Blackburn, our registrar who has worked tirelessly as head of the Student Government Association and organizer of the prom. She coordinated the entirety of the event, but insists that “without the parents’ support, there would be no prom.” Student volunteers have been decorating our gym and cooking up delicious soul food for guests. Not only is this year’s prom a fun event to look forward to, it is the first prom that Emerson has hosted in modern history. Now that we have a new space for our school, the Emerson community has worked and raised funds to take advantage of our new location to give students larger school opportunities while keeping our familial, small school environment. By working with the Thurgood Marshall Center, we were able to utilize the gym as a party venue to celebrate the end of the school year.

— Isabel Fajardo, 11th-grader


Holy Trinity School Georgetown

Field day is a fun and competitive way for Holy Trinity School students to end the school year with a bang! The students split into the Blue and White teams, representing the school colors. The team that wins gets the Tiny Titan painted their team color (the tiny titan is the school mascot). Activities include sack races, a three-legged race, wheelbarrow, and many more! At the end there is a tug-of-war that can decide it all. We stay with our grade during the events even though we are on a team with half the school.

It is most likely the most competitive day of the year! At lunch parents prepare really good food — burgers and hot dogs. They also have ice cream as a treat! During field day it can be easy to forget that you’re at school! It is the day before the end of the school year, and it helps us bond with our classmates one last time before the summer.

— Claire Patterson and Madison Gray, fifth-graders


Lafayette Elementary School

The last few weeks are going to be special for the fifth-graders at Lafayette. They are graduating this year, and friends are going to different middle schools. Leaving will be hard for many students, especially those who have been here since pre-K — that’s seven years at Lafayette!

That’s not all, though. The fifth-graders are busy preparing for a science fair on May 23, and the whole school will come to see it. Each fifth-grader choses a topic, tests out the hypothesis by conducting experiments, and finally presents the findings on a nice poster board.

The fourth-graders also have exciting news. They are preparing for their state fair, in which every fourth-grader gets to research a particular state. It begins when each student pulls a state out of a hat, researches the state, and makes a lovely poster. It ends with a suitcase full of interesting state items and a visit from every class to the state fair. Yummy state foods are made and enjoyed by fourth-graders and parents.

So you may think we are going to chill down as the end of the year approaches, but at Lafayette you are so WRONG!

— Sonali Cohen, fifth-grader


MacFarland Middle School

On March 14, our whole school took banners and posters we made to protest outside for 17 minutes to honor the 17 students who died in the shooting in Florida. During the protest, another neighborhood school, Center City, joined us. People driving by honked their horns in support.

Less than a week later, on March 19, at around 3:10 p.m. when we were trying to exit the school for dismissal, the security guards and the principal told us to return to our fourth-period class. Later on, the teachers told us to get away from the windows and to get under the tables because they received an email from the principal saying that we were on lockdown because of a possible shooting near the school. Students called or texted their parents to let them know what was going on. Parents and students were scared, but teachers tried to keep the children calm. Finally, the principal came around to every classroom to let the students know they could go home. Many parents came to the school to pick up their children. It was a scary experience.

— Tiera Asonio and Senayda Monge, sixth-graders


Our Lady of Victory School

On May 11, the seventh grade at Our Lady of Victory held a poetry slam. We have been preparing for this for a while. We had several assignments where we had to write our own poems. The seventh-graders have been studying different topics all year long, including forms and elements of poetry, and it was time to showcase our talents to our parents. The elements of poetry in the poems that we performed included alliteration, personification, rhyme and free verse. We all were required to recite one original poem, but many of us chose to perform another with a friend. All of the poems were from previous assignments or projects. Everyone’s poem was unique to his or her own personality, and all were very creative and fun. Some poems were about staying true to yourself; others were about nature and seasons; and some were humorous, earning quite a few laughs and snaps. Overall, everybody agreed that it was a great way to end poetry month.

— Amen A., seventh-grader


St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School

Grade 4 students at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School are working on exciting projects this spring.

In science, we are helping the American shad population grow. To help the shad, we are building our own fish hatchery in our science lab. We are using recycled materials like old lumber and old garbage cans. Once the hatchery is completed, we will put over 500 shad eggs in the hatchery for about a week. Then, we will all travel by bus to the Potomac River to release the baby shad into the wild.

Another enjoyable activity in April and May is creating our own travel agencies with faculty and staff as our clients. Each group of travel agents researches different countries, makes the destination decision, and plans out an amazing trip for their client. In the process we will learn about world geography, environments, cultures, history, climates, time zones and famous attractions. Once we have completed this research, we will present our findings to our clients and hope that they have a wonderful journey.

— Paul Anderson, fourth-grader


Sheridan School

On May 2, Sheridan School fifth-graders headed to the Mountain Campus for our spring trip. We went for two nights. During the trip, we did a lot of things, including canoeing, testing water quality, team building and cooking over a campfire.

One of the main focuses was canoeing. First, everyone had river school. We learned different strokes using paddles, and we learned about different patterns of the river. This was to help us prepare for what was ahead. Then, we got into our canoes and pushed off. We had to manage ourselves from there. Along the way, we hit small rapids, and some canoes got stuck. The instructors were there to help, and in the process, one group got free and another capsized. The canoe trip was very enjoyable and a nice change from other Mountain Campus activities. It was exhilarating!

The trip also gave us the chance to exercise our responsibility and independence, helping us prepare for sixth-grade wilderness experiences. One of the things we did was practice cooking over a campfire. We put a variety of food, like ground beef, potatoes, green beans and mushroom sauce in a foil packet to roast in the fire. When it was cooked, we ate around the fire. It was relaxing, and it was cool to be out of the dining hall while eating. It felt new and exciting to be eating something we assembled ourselves.

This trip helped us deepen our shared connection, and we learned a lot!

— Maddie Aebersold-Burke and Hannah Danin, fifth-graders


Washington International School

The fifth-graders recently returned from Calleva Farms, where they spent three days and two nights surrounded by nature! The experience included a tour of the farm; zip lining; rope courses; and a day of caving, rock climbing, horseback riding, stand-up-paddling or kayaking. We learned about the importance of “P.U.A.,” which stands for positivity, unity and awareness. These skills were crucial when facing the challenges that the courses put in our way.

A highlight of the first day was the Giant Swing. A person wearing a harness was hung onto the swing, and then hauled up to 30 feet high by the rest of the group. The person was released and swung back and forth to a halt. The Giant Swing was a thrilling coaster that nobody regretted trying! Lastly, we slept in tents, which was quite an adventure for those who had never been camping! Except for the little bugs that slipped into some tents, it was very exciting and a little scary, but fun anyway.

Exhausted but happy, we returned to school on Wednesday, with two busy days awaiting us. On Thursday, we headed to Tregaron (the middle and upper school campus) for an orientation. On Friday, we had our annual Sports Day, and we competed in games ranging from tug-of-war to leaky bucket.

We definitely lived a week of pure activity and excitement, which taught us the importance of cooperation. We’re looking forward to the end of the year!

— Ilaria Luna, fifth-grader