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. Harrington, 8th Grade Physical Science

 

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Ms. Harrington, 8th grade Physical Science teacher
  • Where are you from and what experiences led you to where you are in education today? I am from this area and went to Virginia Tech. After college, I came back home and have been teaching at Eliot-Hine ever since. My mentor is my 9th grade biology teacher. She is remarkable, made science fun, and we still have relationship to this day! Relating lessons to the real world made her class so interesting. That is what I try to do in my classroom: connect and make every moment count
  • How long have you been teaching at EH? Six years. I started my teaching career here at Eliot-Hine.
  • How would you describe Eliot-Hine students? Inquisitive. They are always exploring, asking questions, seeking answers, and constantly learning. They love being here! They are appreciated and very loved in this safe space.
  • Share something about Eliot-Hine staff: No teacher or classroom here is alike. You will find teachers here come from such diverse backgrounds- those with a doctorate degree or some seeking teaching as a career change, etc. All our various attributes bring something different to the classroom.
  • EH Science Classroom
    Science learning profiles

    This is Eliot-Hine’s first full year as an IB MS. How does this IB framework shape your teaching? We really emphasize the IB learner profiles. These are attributes I would like them to have when they leave my class. A test does not strictly define capability. We focus a lot on the whole student and project-based learning. They’re so creative and excel when they’re asked to apply what they’ve learned. You’ll see a lot more discussion-based classes here. Also debates that challenge their mindset and expose them to various ways of thinking about something.

  • What are some new Science initiatives at Eliot-Hine this year? We have new lab spaces and equipment! There is a grow lab (an indoor gardening station) in the back of the 7th grade Life Science classroom. We also recently created a pollinator garden to help preserve the health of bees, butterflies, birds, and other pollinators.
  • What is something people do not know about Eliot-Hine? We are a Flamboyan Family Engagement Partnership School. Flamboyan Foundation works with four DCPS schools as Middle School Family Engagement Partners to implement high impact family engagement strategies that build strong relationships and engage families as partners in their student’s academic success. This allows us to do a lot home visits. We also have student-led conferences and goal setting is also very student-driven.
  • Describe Eliot-Hine in one word. Change. Middle school years are the years of transformation. We help with the precious transition into becoming  a middle school student and build up their character for their transition into high school. Our students become very resilient and acquire many life skills to help them adapt to change.

Stop by Eliot-Hine to check out their neat pollinator garden or meet passionate staff like Ms. Harrington! We will feature more staff members and their pollinator garden in the coming weeks. 

 

 

Eliot-Hine embraces the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IB MYP)

The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IB MYP) is a framework that encourages students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world. One way Eliot-Hine embraces this is through their Communications Class with Mr. Birks. Students not only learn how to code and become more comfortable and confident with public speaking, they utilize technology in innovative ways and obtain journalism experience interviewing notable local and international politicians, corporations, and radio/TV personalities.

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Recently, students took a field trip to Microsoft and interviewed their Corporate Vice-President of U.S. Government Affairs, Frederick S. Humphries Jr. The above photo features Mr. Birks with four 6th graders and their interviewee. They also interviewed Desmond Tutu’s eldest daughter, Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe to learn more about TuTu Desk. All their interviews can be found on the Eliot-Hine TV Network channel.

UPCOMING EVENT REMINDER: Eliot-Hine PTO meeting this Wednesday, 3/8 at 6 PM in the Media Center

Eliot-Hine’s MLK Day Service Project and Basketball Game Recap

Eliot-Hine is buzzing this semester with a variety of events from a MLK Day Service Project to 8th graders and their families meeting about their upcoming IB MYP community project, along with basketball games and ski trips! It is also so exciting to continue meet Eliot-Hine’s feeder families (Maury ES, Miner ES, Payne ES, and School-Within-School@Goding) at Buddy Days and the monthly Eliot-Hine Open Houses. Check out Eliot-Hine for yourself at any of the events below!

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Upcoming Eliot-Hine events:

  • Tuesday, 1/24: Ski trip and school visit to Ron Brown HS
  • Wednesday, 1/25: Maury Buddy Day
  • Thursday, 1/26: 9:30 AM & 6 PM – Open House
  • Tuesday, 1/31: Miner ES Buddy Day
  • Wednesday, 2/1: Payne ES Buddy Day
  • Tuesday, 2/7: SWS@Goding Buddy Day
  • Wednesday, 2/8: 6 PM – PTO Meeting
  • Friday, 2/10: Ski trip and EHMS Picture Day
  • Wednesday, 2/15: 9:30 AM – Open House 
  • Tuesday, 2/28: Black History Month Assembly

Remaining basketball games:

  • Tuesday, 1/24 vs. Hart MS: Away game
  • Monday, 1/30 vs. McKinley MS: Away game
  • Wednesday, 2/1 vs. Jefferson Academy: Away game

Below are photos from the Eliot-Hine vs. Johnson MS boys game on January 10, 2017.

Eliot-Hine Middle School Modernization Project & Survey for Families

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Project Overview: The existing Eliot-Hine Middle School was built in 1931. The school is scheduled for comprehensive modernization with construction to begin in winter of 2018. Planning started last year in 2016 with the development of an educational specification and community engagement meetings. Additionally, a feasibility study is expected to roll out early 2017. The Department of General Services (DGS), DC Public Schools (DCPS), and the architect is working with the School Improvement Team (SIT) comprised of school staff, current and feeder parents, and members of the community to develop concepts for the school based on program, student, teacher and community needs. The building will meet or exceed sustainability guidelines for LEED Gold and be an asset to the neighborhood.

  • Location: 1830 Constitution Ave., NE
  • Ward: 6
  • Overall Project Budget: $87.7 million
  • Architects: TBD
  • Project Manager: Stephen Kitterman
  • DCPS Contact:  Josh Tuch (joshua.tuch@dc.gov)

To help gather feedback to inform our planning, we have created two short surveys. We encourage fill out your respective survey by Friday, January 29, 2017 and share with your network.

Lastly, our next SIT meeting will be late January/early February. We are looking for more feeder parent representation so any feeder parents interested in joining our SIT can fill out this SIT interest form. All resources from these SIT meetings are available on the Eliot-Hine modernization website here.

Next blog post: Q & A with parents of current 7th and 8th graders

 

Principal Vargas Q & A: Her passions and vision to broaden Eliot-Hine’s horizons.

isamar-vargas  Isamar Vargas is the new principal of Eliot-Hine this school year.A native of Puerto Rico, she is bilingual in English and Spanish. Prior to joining DCPS, she was the principal of Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy, a school in Chicago that serves approximately 1,100 preK-8 students, including 400 English-Language Learners. In 2010, she began the New Leaders principal preparation program and in 2011 was granted the Principal Achievement Award in Chicago Public Schools for her efforts to close the achievement gap. Vargas has also worked as a bilingual elementary school teacher and taught social science to students in 9th, 10th, and 11th grade. She received her bachelor’s degree in education from the Pontifical University of Puerto Rico and her master’s degree in school leadership from Concordia University in Chicago.

Check out her interview with the Strategic School Planning Team below:

  • What experiences led you to where you are in education today? “My mother was a social worker in Puerto Rico and inspired me to help those in need. Serving communities and seeing an interest for students’ needs, as well as the urgency in helping children of color has brought me to where I am today.”
  • Tell us a little about what you’re most passionate about. “I’m passionate about the socio-emotional aspect of education. It is not just about the subject areas, but also how students manage their emotions to be a successful and responsible citizen in and outside of school. Empowering them to overcome whatever they come from is what I’m passionate about.”
  • Previously you were a principal in Chicago. What are you most excited about as the new principal of Eliot-Hine with DCPS? “This is a transformative time for Eliot-Hine! We are actively engaging with different communities, both our community of current students/families and feeders and more broadly the Capitol Hill community. We are both learning from each other and that’s exciting.”
  • This is Eliot-Hine’s first full year as an IB MS. How does this IB program shape your vision for Eliot-Hine and its future? “IB is a smart teaching. You cannot teach subjects in isolation. With the IB requirements, we reinforce teachers are collaborating and what they learn in one class is transferrable to another subject. Connections to the outside world, all qualities of this IB program help prepare our students for the 21st century.”
  • In 2018, construction for Eliot-Hine’s $87.7 million modernization will begin. How will the new facilities support your IB MYP and vision? “We want to make sure the building reflects what it is to be a global thinker. This will include spaces to co-teach and other areas to engage in comfortable conversations about social issues. This building will also represent the world to our students and where they will learn more about their outside community. We hope this new facility infuses the issues and excitement of our global society into our learning and daily lives.”
  • What will be different about Eliot-Hine in school year 17-18? “We have done a lot of work with climate and culture along with differentiation in the classroom. We will continue to shape the school climate and culture to embrace the diversity of our students, while maintaining the emphasis of socio-emotion development and rigor.”
  • Are there specific things you want to implement at Eliot-Hine in the coming years? “One of my goals is to continue to increase enrollment so I can offer a second foreign language. Currently we offer Spanish to all our students. As one of the only two DCPS middle schools with an IB program, we aim to increase the world languages offered.”
  • What is something most people do not know about Eliot-Hine? “They care a lot about their environment and love coming to Eliot-Hine. This explains our high attendance rate! Our students are so loving and invested in their personal growth. They are typical teenagers, but also in tune with their emotions and learn quickly about how to be a successful teenager. It is so empowering to see them grow and become better at what they do.”
  • How would you describe Eliot-Hine in one word?: Pioneer!
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Principal Vargas and parent Amy Weedon at EdFest 2016!

January 2017 Eliot-Hine MS Events

January 2017 School Events: 

  • Week of 9-13th: Spirit Week!
  • Wednesday, 11th: 6 PM – PTO Meeting
  • Wednesday, 11th: 7 PM – Mandatory 8th grade parent meeting to discuss 8th grade IB community service project, prom, and 8th grade trip.
  • Saturday, 14th: 9 AM – 1 PM, MLK Weekend Day of Service at Eliot-Hine MS
  • Thursday, 26th: 9:30 AM & 6 PM – Open House*

*There will also be another Open House on Wednesday, February 15th at 9:30 AM. 

January 2017 Basketball Game Schedule: 

  • Tuesday, 10th: 4:45 PM & 6 PM vs. Johnson MS (Home game)
  • Thursday, 12th: 4:45 PM & 6 PM vs. Kelly Miller MS (Home game)
  • Saturday, 14th: 9 AM & 10: 15 AM vs. Hardy MS (Away at Jefferson)
  • Wednesday, 18th: 4:45 PM & 6 PM vs. Brookland MS (Home game)
  • Tuesday, 24th: 4:45 PM & 6 PM vs. Hart MS (Away)
  • Thursday, 26th: 4:45 PM & 6 PM vs. Sousa MS (Away)
  • Monday, 30th: 4:45 PM & 6 PM vs. McKinley MS (Away)

All events can be found on the Eliot-Hine MS calendar. Call the main office at (202) 939-5380 with any questions.