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11 Ways to Make Students Happy

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

11 Ways to Make Students Happy

We want our students to like school. That’s why we’ve set aside five million dollars in next year’s budget to fund our schools’ best ideas to help students feel happier at school.

Using data from last year’s student satisfaction survey, each school has crafted a proposal unique to their student population. Here are a few select highlights:

The World at Your Feet

We’re lucky to live in a city with people from every nation and culture. Realizing this, Hearst ES will start talking circles for students to discuss global differences and conflict resolution, with the help of DC institutions like embassies and American University. With a diverse population from every ward and countries such as Vietnam, Egypt, Bulgaria, and Russia, Hearst hopes the circles will help students understand each other better.

Like a Kid Startup

You’ve heard of the Genius Bar, now get ready for The Creativity Lab! Janney ES will start The Creativity Lab, an indoor/outdoor space to inspire student creativity. Inside the Lab, students can publish writing, create math models, record podcasts, produce movies, compose music, and more. Outside, students will let their creativity run wild using a greenhouse with solar panels, watering systems and lights to help plants grow.

The Good Kind of Peer Pressure

Remember your freshman year of high school? Didn’t you think the seniors were the coolest people ever? Enter Eastern HS’ new peer mentoring program—they’ll pair 12th graders with 9th graders to help freshmen navigate high school. 

Block Party

Block by block, Lego unleashes everyone’s inner engineer. Langley ES students will use Legos to learn about math, science, and engineering. They’ll also go on field trips to see how these engineering principles are put to work in real buildings.

E-Reading, E-Writing, E-Rithmetic

Mann ES will bring more technology into the classroom: e-readers to encourage more students to love reading, software for students to track scientific data  and build online art portfolios, and tablets to videotape students in PE so that they can perfect their form in real-time-- whether it’s holding a baseball bat or a dance position.

Mad For Ipad

Truesdell EC will buy iPads for use during school and after school in clubs such as robotics, math café, and book club.

Parent University

Aiton ES will start a “Parent University” for parents to learn tips and tools about how to make learning fun at home.

Dinner and a Seminar

Kramer MS will offer Afterschool Academy with community partner Higher Achievement. Three days a week, students will receive homework help, dinner, an elective, and seminars in topics such as creative writing, robotics, and public speaking. 

If I Solve the Equation, Do I Still Have to Wear Those Bowling Shoes?

Simon ES will start a bowling/math team that will knock down pins as well as equations. They’ll discuss angles, rates to make a strike, position of the arm, and more as they hit the bowling alleys.  

After School Extravaganza

With the help of YMCA and other organizations, Cardozo EC middle schoolers can stay after school to participate in exciting activities such as cooking, arts and crafts, STEM activities, sports, leadership, homework help, college and career planning.

Out of Town

Deal MS will plan some epic excursions for students to places like the Museum of Math in New York City, dance, music, or theater performances in DC, or rafting and hiking in Harper’s Ferry.