MacFarland Middle School Phased Opening

DCPS announced yesterday that MacFarland Middle School’s comprehensive neighborhood program will start with a 6th grade in August 2018, and grow one grade each year from there. The full announcement is at the end of this post in English, Spanish, and Amharic.

Since the announcement MacFarland would open its neighborhood program in School Year 18-19, we’ve gotten input on how to make the transition as successful as possible for MacFarland and for its neighborhood education campuses: Truesdell, Raymond, and West. We believe a phased opening is the best way for MacFarland to steadily grow its program while also allowing middle school students in the EC’s to graduate from the schools many of them have attended since Pre-Kindergarten.

What will this look like for MacFarland?

MacFarland opened a 6th grade Dual-language program this year, and will grow to a 7th and 8th grade over the next two years. When it opens its neighborhood comprehensive program in School Year 2018-2019, it will open with a 6th grade only, and grow one grade each of the next two years.

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What will this look like for Raymond, West, and Truesdell?

For the next school year (2017-2018), there will be no changes. When MacFarland’s neighborhood program opens in School Year 2018-2019, the three education campuses will no longer take 6th grade students, and continue to serve 7th and 8th graders. The following year (SY2019-2020) they will serve 8th grade students before transitioning to traditional PK3-5 elementary schools in SY2020-2021.

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Interested in learning more? We’ll be at West EC’s Principal Chat and Chew on May 22nd at 6pm, and will post additional meeting dates at Truesdell and Raymond as we schedule them. We look forward to continuing to engage over the coming weeks, months, and years to support our school communities through this transition – as always, feel free to reach out to DCPS.Planning@dc.gov with any questions or comments.

MacFarland Phased Opening Raymond

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Eliot-Hine Staff Feature: Mr. Richardson, 6th & 7th World Cultures & Geography

 

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Mr. Richardson on left with Ambassador of Malta, Clive Agius
  • What experiences led you to where you are in education today? In college I was president of the Black Student Union and noticed their recruitment of inner city students to Towson University were lacking. This bothered me and I remember meeting with the president of my university about this. Later, the more I found out there was a stipulation of learning habits of inner city youth. I was headed to law school to be a civil rights lawyer, even had already taken the LSAT, but then decided to teach instead. I wanted prove it wasn’t the students, but the lack of opportunities they were provided. I knew these students were also capable.
  • How long have you been teaching at Eliot-Hine or how long have you been a teacher? This is my 14th year, but first year at Eliot-Hine MS.
  • Can you tell us about an activity your students have done in your class this year? Our 6th graders are partnered with the Ambassador of Malta as part of the DCPS Embassy Adoption Program group. Ambassador Clive Agius is such a humble person. The students get a fun opportunity to feature their talents. We had group project presentations for the Ambassador.  We also hosted a welcome presentation which included banners featuring our students art skills, dance/cheer infusing Malta and US styles. One student created a Malta US trivia game! Our students organized the whole event!
  • How would you describe Eliot-Hine students? They are such good kids. They have great potential. We must commit to continuously provide opportunities and tools for them to reach their maximum potential!
  • This is Eliot-Hine’s first full year as an IB MS. How does this IB program shape your teaching? I always say that I would like my students to become world citizens, in addition to being a citizen of DC. This is perfectly aligned with the IB framework. Inquiry is a huge part of my class. I like to challenge students to think beyond Washington DC or to reflect on their hometown.
  • What is your favorite event/activity/aspect of Eliot-Hine? I like when we have school-wide events and field trips. We watched the 8th graders do a masterful job in the Black History Month program, the Ambassador of Malta has visited twice for a school visit, and he hosted us at recently where students prepared figolli, a traditional Maltese Easter dessert. (See photos below)
  • What is something most people do not know about Eliot-Hine? We have GREAT kids! Sometimes I mention where I teach and there is judgment. They are wrong, OUR STUDENTS ARE GREAT. We also have such a good community of teachers.
  • Describe Eliot-Hine in one word Potential! Looking at the proximity of the school to the seat of our national government and being in DC, there is so much they can learn.
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6th graders with Ambassador Agius
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Students preparing figolli, a traditional Maltese Easter dessert

EH Malta field trip

Going the Distance: Eliot-Hine’s Athletic Offerings!

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Cross country team- 2016
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Boys track & field- April 2017
EH Ski competition
About to start the intermediate level competition- March 2017

Did you know Eliot-Hine has track & field, ski club, and two gyms? That’s just the beginning! To learn more about Eliot-Hine’s athletics program and offerings, we spoke to their Athletics Director, Ms. Tanisha Kemp. You can also follow their updates on Twitter: @EHMSAthletics. Questions regarding Eliot-Hine’s Athletics can be directed to Ms. Kemp at tanisha.kemp@dc.gov or her cell, (443) 799-9432.

  • Previously I have shared updates from Eliot-Hine’s basketball teams and ski club. What are all the sports offered? We have basketball, track and field, cross country, football, bowling, softball, cheerleading, and a ski club.
  • What sport facilities do you all have on campus? We have a baseball field and two gyms. Watkins ES is currently using one of our gym while they are swinging in a part of our building and we are happy they were therefore able to have a basketball team this year. Our softball field is housed at Eastern HS and sometimes we also share Eastern’s track, which is a treat for middle schoolers!
  • What sport team always surprises people? Bowling! Our girls had a fantastic season and came in 4th place. The team comprised of mostly 6th graders and they were all first-timers.
  • How does athletics support the IB framework at Eliot-Hine? Sports are global and ideal forum for community and sharing. Think of soccer around the world and events like the Olympics that unite the community. Lessons my students learn in athletics can be applied to real-life situations: discipline, dedication, and collaboration. In order for you to be a scholar athlete, you have to be able to work with others and communicate. We practice this inside the classroom and on the field.
  • Anything new for next school year, SY17-18? Ms. Weaver will be coaching volleyball. DCIAA will also offer wrestling and lacrosse for middle school soon. We hope to have these as it is a great opportunity for our students learn a new sport.

Want to support or check out Eliot-Hine’s teams in action? Here is their spring schedule.

Eliot-Hine’s Spring STEM Fair

Eliot-Hine prioritizes STEM initiatives for their students, both in and out of the classrooms. Previously we shared posts about their award-winning Science Olympiad Team and Junk Art Club, indoor Grow Lab, community Pollinator Garden installation, Physical Science staff feature on Ms.Harrington, and more. This spring, Eliot-Hine hosted a STEM fair with exciting items like a meal worm race, a balance challenge, and a color swirl station. Students also had projects like Clara’s psychological test to evaluate if offered to eat/drink a more expensive item with both actually being the same, would participants choose the more expensive one as better tasting. Jason also experimented on whether diet or regular coke shoots off better!

Check out the photos below and you can view upcoming Eliot-Hine events on their school website.  

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Come Enroll at Eliot-Hine for SY17-18!

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This past weekend Eiot-Hine hosted an event to kick off enrollment for School Year 2017-2018. Families enrolled their students while everyone planted peas and participated in a Kusama inspired painting project from a field trip students took to the Hirschhorn Museum earlier. Check out the photos from the event below and stop by Eliot-Hine to see the new artwork!

If you missed this event, below are other opportunities you can come enroll your student or learn more about Eliot-Hine in person. Please call the main office if you have any questions about enrollment: 202-939-5380.

  • April 8, Saturday, 9 – 11 AM: Finishing the pollinator garden installation!
  • April 12, Wednesday 5:30-8 PM: PTO meeting
  • May 10, Wednesday, 5:30- 8 PM: PTO meeting
  • May 13, Saturday, 9 AM – 12 PM: Enrollment Fair
  • May 19, Friday, 12 – 7 PM: Parent Teacher Conference Day
  • June 2, Friday, 5:30 -8 PM: International Night Expo
  • June 6, Tuesday, 5 – 7 PM: Enrollment Fair

Connecting art & emotional responses: Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors field trip

Last week, Ms. Mills took a group of students on a field trip to see Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the Hirschhorn Museum. Artist Yayoi Kusama’s avant-garde pieces are known for their ability to evoke various emotional responses based on her unconventional use of space, color, light and reflection. In her Infinity Mirrors exhibit, Kusama created six rooms of wonder on the beauty, stereotypes and evolution of the human condition. Students viewed the rooms as well as her earlier creations such as “Works on Paper.” Students then analyzes the six rooms and critically discuss Kusama’s perspective on the “incredible beauty of humanity.” Check out photos from their day below:

If you are interested in this exhibit, information on their free timed-passes is here. 

Eliot-Hine Staff Feature: Ms. Weaver, Autism Teacher

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Ms. Weaver, Autism teacher
  • Where are you from and what experiences led you to where you are in education today? I was born and raised in Washington DC. I’ll never forget my 2nd grade teacher. Growing up, math was not my best subject. However, the way my teacher took me under her wing and showed me different ways to approach math ultimately drove me to succeed and want to become a teacher.
  • How long have you been teaching at Eliot-Hne?  I have been at Eliot-Hine for four years. When I started working at Eliot-Hine, I was an aide. Now  I am a lead classroom teacher here.
  • How would you describe Eliot-Hine students? My students are life-changing. Each year I get students that open my eyes to different things. I learn something from them each day!
  • Share something about Eliot-Hine staff: The staff here are like family. We all come together and are a great team. We are very supportive of one another. Our strong bond makes collaboration a lot easier. Just recently, I collaborated with Ms. Harrington, who teaches my students robotics!
  • This is Eliot-Hine’s first full year as an International Baccalaureate (IB) middle school. How does this IB framework shape your teaching? We teach our students the IB learner characteristics and apply these with their social skills’ lessons. This helps our students succeed: remaining open-minded, knowledgeable, balanced. These all touch on their social skills.
  • What is something people do not know about Eliot-Hine? We are forever changing. There are more sports this year with the addition of a football and a bowling team. Next year I’ll be coaching and adding a volleyball team!
  • Describe Eliot-Hine in one word. Optimistic! Throughout everything we keep persevering and pushing. The whole school is optimistic and we love to all be here.