School Dispatches: Sept. 27, 2017

Sheridan School visits the Mountain Campus in spring 2017. (photo courtesy of Sheridan School)

British International School of Washington

Our school has always eagerly engaged in opportunities of philanthropy around the world. These acts include sending stationery to children who lack supplies, creating Thanksgiving food baskets for those less fortunate and raising awareness and funds to give to charities such as the Red Cross and the Alzheimer’s Association.

Participants get a chance to see Tanzania’s wildlife on a two-day safari. (photo by British International School of Washington English teacher Ceris Flew)

This week’s fundraising was primarily focused on the Year 12 Tanzania trip, an annual weeklong experience of building schools for the children in Tanzania. During the trip, students meet and interact with the children who will be using the new school buildings. Additionally, our school’s students have the opportunity to experience Tanzania’s natural beauty by going on a two-day safari.

To raise funds for this trip, a bake sale was held. Students enthusiastically created delicious treats for the sale, which were quickly consumed by teachers and students alike. Furthermore, a meeting was held to educate the Year 12 parents on the significance of the trip. The audience was encouraged to donate small amounts of money to pay for the needed stationery and supplies for the new school buildings.

— Ava Lundell, Year 12 (11th-grader)

Deal Middle School

We are already in our fifth week of school. Recently the student council has been chosen. With our new treasurer, secretary, vice-president and president, nothing could be better.

In Ms. Han’s class, her students keep learning Chinese every day with different and great ways of learning like using games and having conversations in Chinese.

Our volleyball team won its first game of the season, which was a home game.

Our mission at Deal is that everything inspires excellence, curiosity and compassion through intellectual and social engagement, and we share our mission every morning in our announcements (in English and Spanish). Like we say at Deal, have a productive learning day.

— Pamela Palacios, sixth-grader (Team Nice)

Hearst Elementary School

Hearst’s third- through fifth-grade Communication & Education Support (CES) class has jumped right into some walking field trips in our community.

Our first field trip was to the Tenley-Friendship Library. On our walk we practiced following multi-step directions, crossing the street safely and identifying safety signs and community figures. “The man on the sign means we can walk now!” said Briana Roye-Jones. “We should look both ways,” said Jason Kaberia.

Our next field trip will be to Giant to purchase ingredients for an upcoming life skills cooking activity. We will practice finding items in a grocery store, asking questions, dollar-up math and making a purchase. What yummy treat will we make with our ingredients? We’ll stick with our September apple theme and make sure it’s a tasty one!

— Hearst third- through fifth-grade CES class

Lafayette Elementary School

Students listen as a classmate holds the “Peace Bear” and tells what she did for her kindness pal. (photo by fifth-grader Natalie Broquard)

Lafayette offers seven specials — PE, art, Spanish, music, library, technology and peace. Lafayette’s most unusual special, peace, is a favorite. According to fifth-grader Wengel Debebe, “My favorite special is peace because you get to practice mindfulness, an important thing in school and in life. It helps me because whenever I’m stressed out it helps me calm down.”

Mrs. Ryden, our peace teacher, agrees: “Mindfulness helps kids to focus and keep attention on schoolwork. It also helps them to control their feelings. I hope what I’m teaching will make the world a better place.”

Peace class enhances learning by teaching students how to stay calm, work out arguments and be in control of their minds. Peace class also helps by showing them ways to work out arguments. One great tool students learn is the kindness C.A.T.: Calm down, Apologize and use your Toolbox. The toolbox is filled with strategies or ways of working out an argument, such as compromise.

Another favorite special is PE. Charlie Denny, a second-grader, explained, “My favorite special is P.E. because I like moving around.”

Ms. Howes, one of Lafayette’s two PE teachers, said, “I love teaching PE because I get to see kids move around and see them grow in movement. I also love sharing my own love of movement with everybody.” According to Mrs. McClure, Lafayette’s other PE teacher, “Exercise releases endorphins and helps the mind focus.”

— Natalie Broquard, fifth-grader

Oyster-Adams Bilingual School

Soccer and volleyball are important sports at our school. However, the turf field has been removed and it looks as if the field will not be replaced. Recess and the middle school boys soccer team have been affected.

The volleyball team, on the other hand, is having away games every Wednesday. Our team record is 2-1. Coach Kohler says, “The girls played really well and I was impressed … but we have a lot of work to still do in practice.”

It has been boring to play in the playground, and the recess rules seem to be more strict — and we have been having less fun. Recess is now one of the worst parts of the day. Next thing you know the No. 1 rule will be no smiling or playing with friends. Seventy seventh-graders have been sharing the recess with 70 sixth-graders, making the recess much more difficult to enjoy. Since the soccer field has been under reconstruction, sharing with the seventh-graders is like trying to run through a crowd in a really crowded concert, or trying to run through the crowded center part of a protest.

Despite the challenges of not having a field, our teams have been doing great and our best is yet to come. We hope we will keep winning!

— Gabriella Eversley-Holland, Francis Csedrik and Saul Catalan-Castaneda

National Presbyterian School

Head of school Malcolm Lester was among the attendees at Camp Horizons. (photo courtesy of National Presbyterian School)

On Sept. 13, fifth- and sixth-graders and their teachers traveled on two buses to Camp Horizons in Harrisonburg, Va. It was a really fun time. We did low ropes, high ropes, farming, archery, canoeing and rock climbing, and we even had a campfire! Sixth-grader Nelson Dorsey’s favorite activity was canoeing.

When we arrived at camp, we were given a warm welcome by all the wonderful counselors there. Then we loaded our camping gear into two trucks that would take them to the cabins where we would stay for the next two nights. On the first day, we were split up into four groups. These groups did the same activities but at different times. One of our favorite games to play was Gaga Ball, which was played in a 12-foot-by-12-foot pit.

On the second day, we were joined by our head of school, Mr. Lester, for part of the day. On Friday, my group finished off our time there with farming. I believe all the campers can say that they had a wonderful time at Camp Horizons.

— Lucas Velasco, sixth-grader

St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School

This year, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School gained yet another distinction. Of course, every year there are small differences from the year before, such as remodeled offices in one part of a building or new teachers. This year, however, there is a big difference: Our middle school, grades six through eight, has moved to a new campus at 4590 MacArthur Blvd. NW in the Palisades. The new campus replaces 4925 MacArthur, an old Victorian house which served as our learning space for seventh and eighth grades.

Middle school students are enjoying their new campus at 4925 MacArthur Blvd. NW, including this art room. (photo courtesy of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School)

In our new MacArthur Campus space, all classrooms for every subject are provided, which means no walking between campuses. This also means more class time and less transition time in between our classes. The new building has more classrooms and learning spaces, with much larger art and music rooms.

As you walk into the lobby of the building, you may notice the modern feel to the first floor with its gray-and-white paint and wood tones throughout. And you may be able to tell while walking through the building that the theme colors are orange and green, which are visible in chairs, stools, carpets and more.

The true treasure of this space, however, is not tangible. It is that all children are welcome and safe, and have a new and fresh place to receive their middle school education.

— Henry Frickert and Will Spector, seventh-graders

Sheridan School

School started just a few weeks ago and everybody’s already getting back into the swing of things. We recently got word that my class would be going to Mountain Campus on Sept. 25. Mountain Campus is an outdoor program in the Shenandoah Mountains. Each year we stay overnight in tents. The tents have a wood base that makes up the floor. The walls and roof are made out of tent material. There are two exits in the tent, and we open and close them with either Velcro or hooks. We sleep in sleeping bags on bunks.

The activities at Mountain Campus are amazing. We play games like capture the flag and new games they teach us while we’re there, along with other things we learn like team-building activities. My first year, they taught us an amazing Mountain Campus tradition: sprinting up a hill while screaming the entire way. When it’s close to bedtime we sit down by the campfire. They teach us great songs and we even roast marshmallows on the fire. We settle into our bunks after a little while, starting off with small whispers and reading until they finally tell us “lights out!”

— Josephine Farber, fourth-grader