School Dispatches: Sept. 13, 2017

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Lafayette students enjoy the school library's reading loft. (photo courtesy of Lafayette Elementary School)

British International School of Washington

This week at the British International School of Washington marked the second full week of school after the summer break. Students arrived back with renewed spirits and exciting stories, ready to tackle the academic year ahead.

The first day of school began with an assembly. Next came gentle integrations into classes where teachers explained what the year would entail. However, as the days progressed, classwork and homework began to intensify — school was back in full swing.

School clubs have also begun. The list ranges from academic activities such as Student Council and Model UN, to physical activities like soccer and volleyball. Year 12 and Year 13 students have also started sitting in on college talks for such institutions as Duke and New York University. The early start to this process is well appreciated by all students.

British International School of Washington primary students return to class after lunch break. (photo by Ava Lundell)

Despite the laziness of summer, one important (and stressful) event did occur: Results of both the IGCSEs and IBs were published. The International General Certificate of Secondary Education is a curriculum taken by the Year 10 and Year 11 students, whilst the International Baccalaureate is taken by the Year 12 and Year 13 students. All students did wonderfully and were congratulated by the entire school community.

As fall approaches, many new and exciting opportunities will arise. However, despite school having just begun, the school community is as lively and eager as ever.

— Ava Lundell, Year 12 (11th-grader)

Deal Middle School

School just started and we have some kids who are running for our student council. Sydney Lieber, an eighth-grader, is a candidate for president and is excited about running. A poster she had in the cafeteria said “Are there candidates better than me? Probably, but they aren’t running, so vote for me.” I think she is really excited about running.

Students are also running for the offices of vice president, secretary and treasurer. Our student council organizes the dances and activities for our school.

— Sidney Gayle, seventh-grader

Lafayette Elementary School

We’re back at Lafayette with a new school year ahead of us. When walking through the school the first new things to notice are the colorful, giraffe-length mobiles in the middle of each staircase — and that’s not all. There’s a new action-packed mural just outside the gym that’s amazing.

Recently, two very eager students shared their thoughts about the new school year. Sydney Burgess in Ms. Skubel’s fifth-grade class loves the way Lafayette has so many options when completing assignments. She likes that she can tell stories differently than everyone else. One new thing Sydney noticed right away about Lafayette is the reading loft in the library with comfy beanbags on top. “It’s a very nice place to sit and read a book,” she said.

Addison Anders, a fifth-grader in Mr. Gregal’s class, loves lots of things about Lafayette, but she especially likes the fact that Lafayette doesn’t have a dress code. “Sometimes you can feel more like yourself when you’re in your own clothes,” she explained. Addison is looking forward to all of the clubs that are available to fifth-graders, like the broadcasting club.

Addison, Sydney and all their fifth-grade classmates want to welcome the new students to Lafayette. “We want them to feel comfortable here, especially the people who came from other cities.” Addison said. So, here’s to a productive, interesting, and extremely fun year. Good luck to everybody as we dive headfirst into this school year. Go Lafayette!

— Sonali Cohen, fifth-grader

Oyster-Adams Bilingual School

During the first week of school, Ms. Schuettpelz’s sixth-grade classes did this activity called, “Down the Drain.” The objective of the game was to get a golf ball into a bucket, but there was a twist. Students had to move around without letting the golf ball fall out of the pipe lines. If it did fall, they had to start over. Furthermore, the bucket was far away from the tubes.

The materials used were PVC pipes, a golf ball and a bucket. Some of the pipe lines were different lengths. The rules of the game were:

No running, so that no one gets hurt.
Don’t touch the golf ball if you’re not the person that puts the ball on the pipe lines.
Lastly, we had to work as a team to win.

Some of the strategies kids used included stacking the tubes to slow down the velocity of the golf ball. When the ball left one of the pipe lines, the other kids had to move to the end of the line to make it longer so the golf ball could get into the bucket and win the game.

We liked this game because it was fun and educational. It taught us that we needed to talk with our teammates and work together to achieve the goal of the game.

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

School Without Walls High School

Over the summer, Mr. Jason Bulluck, School Without Walls High School art teacher, and the STEAM Club received a grant from Deloitte and D.C. Public Schools to create a full-fledged STEAM classroom, referring to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. The room will accommodate the needs of all those activities at our humanities-based magnet high school.

Mr. Bulluck says he is most excited about the Stratasys F123 3-D printer, a cutting-edge device that can produce objects made of many different plastics. With the major renovations being aimed to be completed after winter break, the classroom will be fully functioning for students and classes in early 2018. STEAM Club founder Ben Werb is “very excited for the next generation of penguin entrepreneurs to get to use the space.” The last proposals are being finalized by the end of this month.

— Michael Edgell, 12th-grader