Hyde Park School recently held a PTO fall festival called the HPS Pumpkin Chuck. Students and families brought their jack-o-lanterns from home to smash them in the parking lot using one of our two giant trebuchets. At 11:30, families, students, friends and staff were invited to join the school on the newly installed musical playground called Harmony Park for the dedication and Vision 2020 ribbon cutting.
Two years ago, some of the third- through sixth-grade students participated in a STEAM elective with Mrs. Hughes, STEAM Lab teacher; Mr. Messerly, the Music teacher; and volunteers from Melodic Connections, ArtsWave and a local engineer named Bradley Cooper. Students used the engineering and design process to design a musical playground for the school. During this process, Melodic Connections taught the students about the therapeutic value of making music and how harmonizing can build communities and relationships. Students learned to play in drum circles from one of Melodic Connections’ therapy students and instructors. Bradley Cooper also volunteered his time to work with students on their designs. He taught them about the engineering and design process and how to build with real tools. The students presented their prototypes to the PTO and after two years of fundraising, they finally reached their Harmony Park goal and had the student-designed instruments installed at the corner of the school.
On Saturday, volunteers joined with former students who had taken part in the elective.
After the dedication ceremony, Principal Jill Sunderman hosted the Vision 2020 program ribbon-cutting ceremony. Hyde Park School’s Vision 2020 program is Personalized Education. They believe that the students deserve an educational program that is tailored to their specific needs. They believe giving students voice and choice in what, how, when and where they learn will encourage our scholars to take ownership of their learning goals.
In addition, offering a wide variety of technology tools to promote 21st-century skills allows the students to have many options to show growth in their educational journeys. For these reasons, the school community chose Personalized Education for their Vision 2020 program. Principal Jill Sunderman thanked the community for their commitment to the students and for their input on our program selection. She also thanked the students for taking time to give the school feedback about what they need to be successful. With their guidance, they found a program that best meets their needs. Several students helped Sunderman with the ribbon cutting. After the ceremony, Sunderman told the crowd that she and her staff and students are very excited for what the future holds for Hyde Park School.
The rest of the afternoon, students, families and staff enjoyed the fall festival and pumpkin chuck. There was food, games, music and lots of laughter as the PTO and community came together to raise money for Hyde Park School.