The First Day Of School – my favorite day of the year! There is nothing better than the smell of a fresh school building, a back pack filled with paper, pencils, erasers and colorful folders, the look on kids’ faces as they meet their new teachers, and the excitement that comes with embarking on a new school year. As educators, we look forward to the opportunities that a new school year brings. We’ve spent the summer reflecting on accomplishments and challenges of last school year and thinking about new ways to inspire kids to achieve greatness.
This year at Hearst is going to be more exciting than ever! First and foremost, we are starting a new school year after raising our test scores in both math and reading for the first time in many years. Our teachers have worked very heard for the past two years implementing new practices, like Guided Reading and Running Records. We’ve focused on math fluency as early as Kindergarten. And, we’ve worked very hard on developing, implementing and following through on building a school climate that is caring, compassionate, and positive. We have all embraced the idea that our job is to teach kids to, ‘think and be responsible” and by doing so, we are growing our kids’ brains and their hearts all at the same time!
This year, we bring some new programs to Hearst, some through DCPS and some are unique to Hearst. We will implement a new math and writing curriculum (in all grades) via DCPS. We will also bring FUNdations (phonics program) to our littlest Owls (K-2) and push STMath down to include 1st and 2nd grade students. Hearst also adopted Handwriting Without Tears for students in grades PK-3. We have also purchased Math Journals for our 3-5 students which stretch the math work to include critical thinking, writing and analysis. We will be offering Spanish to students in grades 2-5 using Rosetta Stone and we've embraced Spanish as school-wide cultural study. So we will celebrate the Latin culture as fully as possible, school-wide. Finally, we are bringing Denny McGloughlin of High Trust to Hearst the week of August 12th to share his dynamic, positive message about building trust with students and how to run a smooth classroom where kids learn how to “think and be responsible!”
Needless to say, there is much to be excited about this school year. We look forward to seeing all of you on the blacktop at 8:33 on Monday, August 26th!
Enjoy your last days of summer!
Dr. B -