Supporting Their City With Compassion: IB Community Project Spotlight

As part of the International Baccaleaurate Middle Years Programme,  all 8th graders complete a community project at Eliot-Hine Middle School. The community project provides an opportunity for students to collaborate and pursue service learning. Students work in groups, conduct research, and practice public speaking when they present in front of a panel of judges.

This year, Ms. Harris’ all-girls advisory is researching homelessness. Each week they stay after school, even coming in on weekends or when they have days off, and have been researching how a homeless shelter is run, what types of homeless shelters are in the DC area, the statistics on homelessness broken down by various groups, and more. A big objective of their project is changing the negative rhetoric around homelessness and teaching everyone to be more compassionate. To take it one step further, these students are raising awareness in their community by hosting a feminine hygiene product drive. They have even partnered with local alumnae of Agnes Scott College, a women’s college in Atlanta, to raise funds. All the proceeds will go to House of Ruth, a women and children’s shelter in DC, and they are so excited to show the community ways people can support these shelters!

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If you would like to support their project and make a donation, please stop by Eliot-Hine’s main office during school hours. Items will be collected until Wednesday, May 17. More details on the flyer here. 

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

EH Track
Cross country team- 2016
EH Track boys
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.

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’s March Highlights & Upcoming Events

March has been very busy at Eliot-Hine! Check out the photos and highlights below:

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  • Eliot-Hine TV Network interviewed new DCPS Chancellor Antwan Wilson last week! He also met and heard from staff and current students.  
  • A group of students took a field trip to see Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the Hirschhorn Museum. (A separate blog post on this coming up next week!) 
  • Eliot-Hine students read Ungifted by Gordon Korman and engaged in a book discussion with Kitty Felde of Book Club for Kids Podcast. Stay tuned for this podcast coming out in May!
  • 3 of Eliot-Hine’s Ski Team places in their recent competition:
    • Malia: 1st place, middle school intermediate division
    • Ja’shon: 5th place, middle school intermediate division
    • Elizabeth: 8th place, middle school novice
  • 5 students compete in the Science Olympiad at American University and place in five different categories they competed in!
  •  8th grade students met with their community mentors as they work on their International Baccaleaurate (IB) Community Project. Topics for this year’s research projects include raising awareness about the homeless shelters and population in DC, evaluating high school drop out rate and its consequences, how to address bullying in middle school, education reform, etc. Mentors will continue to meet with students until their presentation in late May.

Upcoming Events

  • Thursday, March 23: Eliot-Hine STEM Fair Expo, 1-3 PM. This event brings together our students to demonstrate their abilities to create, problem-solve, and innovate in the fields of math and science. You will be able to view: 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Science Fair Projects; 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Math Projects; STEM demos.
  • Saturday, April 1st: Pollinator Garden Installation & Enrollment Event, 9 AM – 12 PM.

Eliot-Hine April 1st Event Flyer

April 1st: Pollinator Garden Installation and Enrollment Event for All!

Eliot-Hine April 1st Event Flyer
Flyer for Eliot-Hine’s April 1st event!

Eliot-Hine Middle School has a very exciting April 1st event planned for current families, prospective families, and anyone who would like to join from the community! From a grant the Junk Art Club won earlier this year, a pollinator garden will be installed on Saturday, April 1st from 9 AM – 12 PM. There will also be a variety of art projects available for all ages, including painting hubcaps to decorate the fences. This is also an opportunity for current and prospective families to re-enroll/enroll their student on-site. Staff and current parents will also be present to share more about the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme.

Upcoming Events: 

  • April 1st: Pollinator Garden Installation & Enrollment Event, 9 AM – 12 PM
  • April 12th: PTO Meeting at 6 PM

 

 

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.

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!