- 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.
March has been very busy at Eliot-Hine! Check out the photos and highlights below:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
We hope everyone had a restful winter break! To kick off second semester, we wanted to share photos highlighting events from last semester and opportunities for you to learn more about Eliot-Hine MS. It has been so exciting to see their relationship with feeder schools grow and witness Eliot-Hine MS embrace the International Baccalaureate framework! Come visit while the lottery is open to see classes in action and learn directly from Principal Vargas and her staff.
Open House Schedule:
- Thursday, January 26: 9:30 AM and 6 PM
- Wednesday, February 15: 9:30 AM
Our next blog post will feature details on Eliot-Hine’s upcoming $87.7 million modernization. Are you a feeder or current Eliot-Hine parent and looking to provide input in this planning process? If so, we encourage you to join the Eliot-Hine School Improvement Team (SIT). We meet every 6-8 weeks and discuss academic, programmatic, and facilites’ related planning and needs. Complete this very short form here!
Eliot-Hine is one of the two DCPS International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) schools. In the fall of 2015, the IB Organization authorized Eliot-Hine as an official IB MYP. Remaining committed to a vision of educational excellence, Eliot-Hine’s Middle Years Programme offers a curriculum for students in grades six through eight committed to promoting independent learning, critical thinking, and inquisitiveness. Their feeder high school, Eastern High School, is also an IB World School so students can continue their pathway to an IB Diploma.
Led and organized by Eliot-Hine, DCPS high schools gathered to showcase their programs at the December 1st high school fair. Prepared with questions to ask schools, students and families learned more about how to apply to schools via the My School DC lottery, extracurriculars, and all their high school options.
There will also be an Eliot-Hine MS table at EdFest on Saturday, December 10th. Stop by to learn more about the school, hear from the principal and current students/parents, and grab an Eliot-Hine lanyard!
- EdFEST: Saturday, December 10, 2016
- 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- DC Armory (2001 East Capitol St SE)
- Admission and parking are FREE
- *Interpretation in sign language, Spanish, Amharic, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and French available throughout the day.
Metro Station: Stadium–Armory (Orange/Blue/Silver lines)
Metro Bus: B2, D6, E32, 96, 97
Free onsite parking: Lot #3
- NEW: Get to and from EdFEST using Lyft! Enter the code “EDFEST” in the payment section before you request your ride.
Photos from the HS Fair below: