Jacksonville Country Day School 5th grade students recently held their STEM Expo in the new Shark Lab's makerspace. Students proudly shared two projects with parents: one involved electric circuits and the other showcased innovations based on the future of activities that originated in Europe, such as tennis and painting.
"Innovative” and “educator" are two words that come to mind when thinking about Shannon Johnson, the Science Specialist at Jacksonville Country Day School. So it is no surprise that she won the 2017 Innovative Educator award from the Jacksonville Business Journal. According to the nomination form, the Innovative Educator award "recognizes individuals who have created cutting-edge programs that positively impact students or taken other innovative steps to increase learning.”
The children ran as fast as they could while balancing a Koosh ball on a ping-pong paddle, looks of deep concentration on their faces. Their classmates, parents, and faculty cheered them on. Under a beautiful spring sky, Jacksonville County Day School held its annual field day on March 31.
It wasn’t Tom Sawyer’s friends whitewashing a fence in St. Augustine on Saturday; it was members of the faculty and staff of Jacksonville Country Day School (JCDS). The JCDS team members recently dedicated a sunny Saturday to painting a fence and porch decking on a home near downtown St. Augustine.
The recently held Jacksonville Country Day School (JCDS) Book Fair was truly amazing this year. The Parents’ Association Book Fair committee members and volunteers worked hard to transform the Fine Arts Center into an underwater literary adventure! With a “shark jaws” exit, jellyfish suspended from the ceiling, schools of fish on the floor, and undersea murals, the Fine Arts Center auditorium was completely transformed.
New York City–based author and illustrator Brian Yanish visited Jacksonville Country Day School on February 15. Mr. Yanish is a dynamic speaker who spreads the word that there are creative treasures in everyday trash. He is the creator of the ScrapKins books: Junk Re-Thunk and Build-It Book.
The 5-year-old students take a series of deep breaths – focusing on breathing in deeply as they pull their arms in and exhaling as they release their arms forward. This exercise helps bring the students “into the moment” before they begin the day’s lessons. This focus on breathing has been shown to lessen stress and anxiety in the classroom, which leads to better academic outcomes.
Fourth graders at Jacksonville Country Day School were recently challenged to create an invention to help Latin American children learn English. It couldn’t just be an idea; the concept had to be something that they could make using the tools in the makerspace.
Many of you know that character education is a key focus at Jacksonville Country Day School. Some of you, however, have probably wondered what the character education program consists of. School Counselor Amanda Sheroff has compiled a list of the main components of the program to share with you.
A holiday toy and sock drive organized by the 6th grade students at Jacksonville Country Day School for St. Vincent’s Mobile Health Outreach Ministry was a huge success! The 6th graders collected over 1,500 new toys and pairs of socks for the families served by St. Vincent’s.
Spanish Language and Presentation Skills on Display
Renowned Latinos came to life in the Fine Arts Center on Wednesday. From architect Antoni Gaudi to golfer Lorena Ochoa and Nobel Prize-winning chemist Mario Molina, the virtual “wax museum” celebrated Hispanic culture with 6th grade students portraying notable Latin people whom they had researched online.
Early Learning students at Jacksonville Country Day School (JCDS) donated five big red tubs of books to Books-A-Go Go on December 9. The Pre-K 3 through Kindergarten students collected the new and gently used children’s book so that other children in Jacksonville may have books of their own.
In honor of Veteran’s Day, 6th grade students at Jacksonville Country Day School (JCDS) had an up-close-and-personal experience with World War II. The National WWII Museum in New Orleans loaned the school a footlocker for the week leading up to Veteran’s Day. The footlocker was packed with authentic relics from the war and home front, including a gas mask, dog tags, a ration stamp book, and sand from Omaha Beach and Iwo Jima.
At the STEM Expo, 6th grade students were challenged to design an educational toy for children in Ethiopia. The resulting designs will be shared with children in Ethiopia through Imagine1Day, which is an international charity dedicated to building school’s and educational capacity in Ethiopia. In addition to building valuable 21st century skills such as teamwork and problem solving, the project also ties into the global studies Africa unit.
Second grade students at Jacksonville Country Day School were challenged to come up with solutions to help save Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. They had the option of using Little Bits kits, Legos, cardboard, or the production studio to develop their concepts for presentation. The 2nd grade class presented their solutions to parents and their 6th grade “buddies” at the school’s recent STEM Expo.
One takeaway I learned from my children’s pre-school days was that it’s never too soon to start getting ready for our family’s educational journey.
Children learn best when they feel emotionally safe and secure in their environment. For children just starting school, there is much that is new. Having a new routine, interacting with new friends, engaging with a new teacher, and seeing older children in the hallways can all be overwhelming for young ones.
New STEM-based electives for 6th grade students this year include Tinkertime and Augmented Reality, HTML Web Design, and Coding with Swift. The transition of the science and computer labs to the STEM Shark Lab and Tech Studiomakes this new programming possible. These classes allow the students to more deeply explore their technological interest and apply the 21st century skills they have been developing over their years at JCDS.
The science and computer labs went through a transformation over the summer — and so did the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum at JCDS. The science and computer labs have been combined and renamed the STEM Shark Lab and Tech Studio. This integration will also be reflected in an enhanced curriculum, which breaks down the barriers between STEM disciplines.
Parents experience a wide range of emotions when sending their child off to school for the first time. This milestone is a time of great excitement and joy, but starting school can also be full of anxiety and apprehension for both parent and child. Here are some tips for an easy transition into your child’s first year of school.
Thanks to everyone involved in the 20th dance recital at JCDS! The name of the show was "Dare to Dream." Congratulations to Ms. Emily, Ms. Lexi, all the dance teachers, Mr. Upchurch, and especially to the talented young dancers.
Faculty & Staff Service Project for St. Johns Housing Partnership
More than 20 Jacksonville Country Day School faculty and staff members teamed up on a service project for St. Johns Housing Partnership (SJHP). The volunteers rebuilt a porch, built a wooden ramp, installed new flooring, hauled trash, and did yard work as part of the project.
Jacksonville Country Day School, a private school on the Southside, is excited to announce that a WeatherSTEM system has been installed on its campus. The WeatherSTEM combines data from scientific instruments and sensors with STEM curriculum. This live, hyper-local data will be used to energize lessons in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) at Jacksonville Country Day. The system also provides current in-depth weather information for the area around the Southside school through a dedicated website.
These are the top 10 takeaways from the parents technology workshops that were held last Friday and Monday. Titled "Connecting with the Interconnected Kid," science/tech integration specialist Shannon Johnson and school counselor Amanda Sheroff shared research and information on ways to help parents navigate through the rapidly changing world of technology. Topics included social media, cyber-bullying, and how to work with children on technology.
The JCDS Sharks Flag Football season concluded last weekend at the North Florida Independent School Athletic Conference (NFISAC) tournament. The tournament was held at the Jacksonville Jaguars practice fields. JCDS had three teams competing against five other independent schools.
The student council at Jacksonville Country Day School (JCDS) raised over $700 for charity on a recent “break the dress code” day. JCDS student council members used these funds at Target to pick out socks for patients at Wolfson Children's Hospital. They also assembled 50 "Art to Go" bags to give to Art With A Heart in Healthcare at Wolfson, which will give the bags to patients in the program.
Students at Jacksonville Country Day School (JCDS) recently completed an art project that will hang in the office of UF Health Jacksonville. Made of recycled plastic pharmaceutical bottle caps, this relief image of a tree has been years in the making. Over the last two years, JCDS students of all ages have worked on the project in the Jacksonville private school’s main art room.
FutureTech, a new 6th grade elective, teaches students the basics of design thinking and other 21st century skills such as collaboration and problem solving. In this elective, students work in teams to design a technological solution to a problem. They sketch out, design, create, test, and print their projects in three dimensions, and then watch their ideas come to life in front of their eyes.
The sun hasn’t risen above the leafy Southside campus as a lone shadow darts among the foliage. It is 3rd grade associate teacher Teresa Gore, and she comes in early almost every morning because she is so excited to teach.
Students at Jacksonville Country Day School (JCDS) recently participated in the “Hour of Code.” The Hour of Code is a global movement to get students interested in computer programming. According to Code.org, almost 150 million students in over 180 countries have tried the Hour of Code since the program’s launch in 2013.
Most schools teach different subjects in isolation. Math teachers don't know what children are learning in science class and vice versa. Students move from subject to subject but typically there is no integration.
Jacksonville Country Day School (JCDS) was one of two recipients of Books-A-Go Go’s Literacy Award. The award recognizes organizations that have made a significant contribution to Books-A-Go Go’s mission of providing low-income children with gently used to new books. “Books-A-Go Go would not exist if it weren't for JCDS,” Betty Metz, the organization’s president said.
Sixth grade students are wrapping up an immersive, integrated learning global studies unit on Africa. This connected learning experience combined geography, literacy, math, music, research, and service leaning.
Seven of the 10 members of this year’s Eagle Ensemble band at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville (ESJ) are alums of Jacksonville Country Day School (JCDS). The Eagle Ensemble is the premier band at the ESJ.
The Florida Kindergarten Council (FKC) has awarded three Pre-K 3 teachers a grant to support more natural learning areas on the Jacksonville Country Day School (JCDS) campus. The grant, valued at up to $1,000, is titled “Get Outside” and requests funds for “a campus-wide project to create outdoor playscapes where children not only play outside, but also learn from their outdoor surroundings.”
Jacksonville Country Day School will be launching the Monique Burr Foundation’s (MBF) Child Safety Matters program this school year. MBF Child Safety Matters grew out of a need for a school-based prevention program that could educate students on safety.
As I walked up to the classroom with his hand in mine, watching the scared look on his face, so many thoughts raced through my mind. “Will they comfort him if he’s scared?” “What if he cries?” “Can they understand him?”
Walk into any elementary school at 4:45 p.m. on a Monday afternoon and you’d expect to find nothing going on besides a few straggling faculty heading to their cars. Walk into Jacksonville Country Day School’s campus at that time and you’ll find an array of activities and students engaged in a variety of options.
Jacksonville Country Day School (JCDS) offers state-of-the-art classes and activities that push students to explore new and exciting opportunities, including an elective class on computer coding and in depth science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) projects. None of these programs would be possible, however, without a strong foundation of reading and writing fundamentals.
Sharks Participate in Independent School Conference
Just a few years ago there were limited options for elementary students to play team sports while representing their schools. Students at Jacksonville Country Day School (JCDS) and other area independent schools now have the opportunity to play basketball, volleyball, flag football, and soccer for their school.
Almost everyone with a Facebook account has seen the math/logic problem “When is Cheryl’s birthday?” The question, which comes from a math class in Singapore, is circulating virally around the Internet. It’s very similar to problems Jacksonville Country Day School students face on a daily basis.