Summer’s on the Horizon with Adventure-Filled Programming from the Phoenix School

Summer’s on the Horizon with Adventure-Filled Programming from the Phoenix School

The 2018/2019 year at The Phoenix School is wrapping up and summer is on the horizon. On Friday, May 1, the kids had their annual May Day performance in Old Town Hall, and are readying themselves for the upcoming All School End-of-Year Celebration and Graduation on June 12th at 6:00 pm at the Salem Five Community Room on Essex Street in Downtown Salem.

Images by Creative Collective

Up until then, the kids are finishing their projects for the year and have another educational Skype planned, this time with Dr. Arthur Kopelman, founder of the Coastal Research Education Society of Long Island, who has been monitoring the local whale and seal populations in New York’s Harbors for the last two decades.

Although the school year is winding down, the summer won’t be empty by any means. The Phoenix School is offering a wide variety of programming that will keep students engaged during the warm summer months

Click here for the full list of programs and details.


Programs:

Fins, Wings, Paws, & Claws June 17-21, 2019 8:30 am-3:00 pm (extended day option 3pm-5pm) Ages 5 to 10 * $295 per week or $65 per day

Animals have amazing adaptations to help them survive and thrive. Investigate these features through examining the shapes and power of fins, the flying abilities of birds, the diverse abilities of animal legs and paws, and the power of claws.  Take part in an animal adaptation auction, dissect a crab, and use microscopes to make new adaptation discoveries. Days will be spent at Winter Island, the Salem State Conservation Lands, and Forest River Park.  Weather permitting, swimming will occur at Winter Island and Forest River Park. Register online today


Engineering Extremes June 24-28, 2019 8:30 am-3:00 pm (extended day option 3pm-5pm) Ages 5 to 10 * $295 per week or $65 per day

Design new structures that can withstand the extremes of mother nature. Use simulations to test your structure designs and their abilities to withstand earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes.  Use the field of biomimicry to look at nature to see how plants and animals withstand the extremes. Design new ways to prevent forces like wind and water from affecting a local area.  Days will be spent at Winter Island, the Salem State Conservation Lands, and Forest River Park. Weather permitting, swimming will occur at Winter Island and Forest River Park. Register online today


Magic: The Gathering August 12-16, 2019 Hours: 8:30am-3:00pm (extended day option 3pm-5pm) Ages 8 to 14 * $295 per week *plus ACTIVITY FEE: $25 for magic booster packs

Jump in to this amazing gaming experience with the collector’s card game Magic the Gathering (MTG). Combining mythologies and story lines inspired from many different cultures, MTG allows dreams and imagination to thrive in this card game. Students will learn new strategies and formats for playing Magic: the Gathering all while having a fun time and building cooperative and collaborative skills through playing the game. Magic: the Gathering is a collector’s card game. All students, from beginner to advanced, are encouraged to join our summer camp.


Shapes of Life August 19-23, 2019 8:30 am-3:00 pm (extended day option 3pm-5pm) Ages 5 to 10 * $295 per week or $65 per day

Special Teachers! Diana Norma Shafer (EEC Clearance, First Aid/CPR, 12+ years experience teaching in a Montessori setting, Ed.M Harvard Graduate School of Education, experienced Magic: the Gathering Club leader at Harborlight Montessori for grades 3-8). Dennis Shafer (First Aid/CPR, Experience teaching and playing Magic: the Gathering for over 25 years. Experience teaching ages 5 through college-level students).  Register online today Inspect the bizarre, impressive, enchanting, purposeful, and beautiful shapes and sizes of plants and animals found locally and around the world.  Look into the importance of antlers, barbels, frills, hairs, lures, and whiskers. Perform a plant dissection, use microscopes, use a seine net to catch living specimens, and realize the variety of shapes and sizes of living organisms while investigating how habitats connect to this diversity.  Days will be spent at Winter Island, the Salem State Conservation Lands, and Lynn Woods. Weather permitting, swimming will occur at Winter Island. Register online today


ROV Construction August 19-23, 2019 8:30 am-3:00 pm (extended day option 3pm-5pm) Ages 10 to 14 * $350 per week

Design, create, build, and test a SeaPerch Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV). Work as a team through the entire process from soldering circuits, putting together motors and blades, water-proofing electronics, experimenting with ROV shape, testing buoyancy, and perfecting ROV performance in the ocean through a series of fun and challenging scenarios. Days will be spent at The Phoenix School and Winter Island. Weather permitting, swimming will occur at Winter Island.  Register online today


Offered both June and August (TLC program not offered during ROV Construction – August 19-23

The Teen Leadership Program (TLC) is for young people who are too young to have a job, but are interested in spending a week assisting our course teachers in the field, mentoring younger children, helping out with the activities for the day, supervising recess or play at the park. TLCs will be given special assignments by their directing teacher and be responsible for various odd jobs that make the course run smoothly. Interest in science, animals, inventing and building with art materials, and using technology (Mac based) to create presentations — a plus.

TLCs should have had previous experience working successfully with younger children, be able to work as a member of a team and have a basic understanding of how children learn through active exploration. 1-2 applicants will be accepted for each course.

Along with their Registration Form, interested TLC applicants should send a list of their experiences working with young children and a letter that explains their interest in the program. On your Registration Form rank the courses in order of preference and submit your application by June 1st. You will then be invited for an interview and further clarification of our expectations. Accepted applicants will meet with the course teacher before each session begins. They will work closely with course teachers and be given feedback on their performance. A final evaluation will be written that may be used as a recommendation for future summer employment with young children. Questions: Call The Phoenix School at 978-741-0870 or email enrichment@phoenixschool.org

Wild Picassos & Einsteins August 26-30, 2019 8:30 am-3:00 pm (extended day option 3pm-5pm) Ages 5 to 10 * $295 per week or $65 per day

Get out into the wild to find new ways to express art and science to become a young Picasso and Einstein! Paint, draw, engineer, explore, and utilize iPads for photography, videography, and iMovie cinematography. Gain inspiration by traveling to a variety of ecosystems, looking into nature’s illusions, investigating the art of camouflage, and discovering the science behind fishing and crabbing. Days will be spent at Winter Island, the Salem State Conservation Lands, and Forest River Park. Weather permitting, swimming will occur at Winter Island and Forest River Park.  Register online today


Teen Leadership Program 11 – 14 year-olds Hours: 8:30 to 5:00 Fee: $125 per week

Offered both June and August (TLC program not offered during ROV Construction – August 19-23

The Teen Leadership Program (TLC) is for young people who are too young to have a job, but are interested in spending a week assisting our course teachers in the field, mentoring younger children, helping out with the activities for the day, supervising recess or play at the park. TLCs will be given special assignments by their directing teacher and be responsible for various odd jobs that make the course run smoothly. Interest in science, animals, inventing and building with art materials, and using technology (Mac based) to create presentations — a plus.

TLCs should have had previous experience working successfully with younger children, be able to work as a member of a team and have a basic understanding of how children learn through active exploration. 1-2 applicants will be accepted for each course.

Along with their Registration Form, interested TLC applicants should send a list of their experiences working with young children and a letter that explains their interest in the program. On your Registration Form rank the courses in order of preference and submit your application by June 1st. You will then be invited for an interview and further clarification of our expectations. Accepted applicants will meet with the course teacher before each session begins. They will work closely with course teachers and be given feedback on their performance. A final evaluation will be written that may be used as a recommendation for future summer employment with young children. Questions: Call The Phoenix School at 978-741-0870 or email enrichment@phoenixschool.org

Welcome Home, Friendship! – The Phoenix School Celebrates the Return of an Old Friend

Welcome Home, Friendship! – The Phoenix School Celebrates the Return of an Old Friend

After much anticipation and hundreds of people asking: “When is the Friendship coming back?”, the beloved Friendship returned to Salem on Monday, April 22 to the cheers and excitement of everyone waiting for her on shore. The Phoenix School students were there to greet her in the less than perfect weather, holding up banners and singing songs about the historic ship.

The original Friendship was built in Salem, Massachusetts by Enos Briggs’s shipyard at Stage Point on the South River for owners Aaron Waite and Jerathmiel Pierce and was originally launched on the 28 May in 1797. During her illustrious career, the Friendship visited Batavia, India, China, South America, the Caribbean, England, Germany, the Mediterranean, and Russia before eventually returning to her home in Salem as a museum as part of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site.

The Phoenix School history is also intermingled with the Friendship’s recent history, as in the 1990s students from the School traveled as part of Essex County’s “Kids Build Friendship” to Washington D.C. to lobby alongside the National Park Service and Salem Partnership for funds to bring the Friendship to Salem. They were successful in their endeavors and were able to raise more than $1M, an amount which would eventually be matched by the state of Massachusetts.

To prepare for this, the kids at the time drew up business plans and partnered with local business leaders to help raise the funds they needed. Part of this was having local businesses put dedicated recycling bins out which the Phoenix School kids would collect, rinse out bottles and cans, and take them to recycling centers for money. As a result, the community raised $18,000 and the Friendship’s figurehead was dedicated to the students involved with this project. And in 2019, the current students of the Phoenix School were present to welcome their old friend home.
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What’s Coming Up for the Phoenix School

The Phoenix School is also excited for their upcoming May Day Performance and Grandfriend’s Day on Friday, May 3 where Phoenix students will perform traditional dances, maypole and all, and sing lovely songs to welcome Spring. Following the performance will be intergenerational activities and a luncheon, prepared by the students, as part of Grandfriend’s Day.

May Day has been a traditional day of festivities throughout the centuries. It is associated with towns and villages celebrating springtime fertility (of the soil, livestock, and people) and revelry with village fetes and community gatherings. One of the most significant of the traditions is the maypole, around which traditional dancers circle with ribbons.

The event begins at 8:30 am on Salem Common, a rain location is TBD.

The Alligators Get the Right of Way – The Phoenix School Grades 6-8 Go to the Everglades

The Alligators Get the Right of Way – The Phoenix School Grades 6-8 Go to the Everglades

The Phoenix School’s 6th-8th graders recently got back from the Florida Everglades and have spent the last two weeks going over their research and discussing what they had learned on the journey. Since the Kindergarten through fifth graders had also completed a similar imaginary journey, the two groups were able to share notes and discuss their findings.

There was much debate about who really had the better time.

There is no debate however that the actual trip to the Everglades itself was an exciting adventure for all involved, especially for two students James (7th grade) and Emma (6th grade). Throughout the week the students rode bikes through Shark Valley, canoed through the mangroves, explored wild Anhinga trails, navigated into Cypress domes on a slough slog, and kicked back at the Hoosville Hostel in Homestead.

“The first night we were there, even before we went to the hostel, we stopped at Anhinga Trail,” James explained. “It’s this really beautiful space with a boardwalk where you can see Anhingas. Each student had a chance to walk to the ends of the boardwalk by themselves, which was really creepy because you could hear the little slaps of the tails of fishes on the water as you moved.

“But every so often you would hear a much larger slap on the water, and those were the alligators,” he added.

The next day, the students met up with Christopher Kavanaugh, a marine biologist for the Everglades ecosystem who talked to the kids about the salinity of Florida Bay and the impact of boat passage through the delicate environment.

Another exciting part of that week was a 2.5-mile kayak trip in Flamingo right next to Florida Bay.

“We didn’t see much on the way up there,” James remembered, “we were just kayaking. Then on the way back, the incredible things started to happen.

“A manatee came up to our kayak and bumped it before swimming past underneath us. If it had been something else it would have been frightening, but manatees are so friendly and curious.”

The last adventure of the trip was a 15-mile bike loop through Shark Valley where students could see more flora and fauna both up close and from above at the observation tower halfway through the ride,

Emma (6th grade) found the bike trip to be especially interesting because this was her first time doing something like this.

“On the bike trip, I couldn’t believe how easy it was. I didn’t fall one time. Now I know what people mean when they say ‘It’s as easy as riding a bike,’” she said.

During the trip, the students also had to be wary about accidentally running over the local wildlife.

“At one point there was a large alligator just lying in the trail,” Emma recalled. “We just went around it. Fortunately, the alligator didn’t mind us at all, because if it did I don’t think I could’ve gotten my bike up to more 15 miles per hour which is how fast an alligator can run.”

“Here pedestrians get the right of way, there, the alligators get the right of way,” James explained.

Phoenix Airlines Flight 406 – Destination Everglades

Phoenix Airlines Flight 406 – Destination Everglades

The classroom was full of the hustle and bustle of children shuffling quickly through a makeshift security line. “Take off your shoes and your belt and put all of your personal belongings in the bin to go through the scanner,” one fifth grade student said to a third grader in line.

“Don’t forget to empty out all of your pockets,” he added as an afterthought. This past week, the students at the Phoenix School took off to the Everglades, and while the 6-8th graders took the actual physical trip to Florida, the Kindergarten through 5th graders created an imaginary journey where they would re-create every aspect of what it would be like to take such a trip. While the older kids were off exploring the mangroves of Southeastern Florida, the fifth graders at the Phoenix School were the ones left in charge.

It was up to them to design a trip that would get their fellow classmates (and flight passengers) to their final destination safely and securely. In doing so they were able to make use of the social, emotional, and leadership skills they’ve gained over the course of the year and incorporate it into a week of imaginary travel. While they were handling all the main details like flight paths and deciding which was the best route to take through the mangroves, the younger kids engaged with their environment by experiencing the imagined journey, taking notes on their findings, and doing research projects to prepare for the trip.

Throughout this process, they also engaged with fundamental learning techniques like writing, working with numbers, and logic, but in a way that allowed them to use their own personal learning style in real-life scenarios. Once all the students passed through security and took their seats aboard the plane of the imagination, the fifth-grade captains made announcements over a pretend loudspeaker. The screen in front of them played a Google Earth Flight Simulator depicting the view of the runway.

Boarding Pass for Phoenix Airlines Flight 406

“Welcome aboard flight 406 to Fort Lauderdale,” the first captain said.

“Please buckle your seatbelts for takeoff and make sure that all of your personal belongings are in an overhead bin or tucked under the seat in front of you,” the second captain said.

The plane started to take off in a wobbly fashion, causing the passengers to giggle uncontrollably.

“Please don’t worry, we are professionals at this,” the third captain explained with a laugh as the simulated plane rose higher into the air. “Let’s do a barrel roll!” Someone yelled from the back.

During the week, in addition to the imaginary travel, the students also pursued their own research projects about the flora and fauna of the area, including a creative writing piece where the students told a story from the perspective of an animal in the Everglades. The teachers also incorporated the thematic subject into their foundational studies, asking important mathematical questions like “How many Anhingas can an alligator eat in a day?” and “If an Alligator eats 3 Anhingas a day, how many Anhingas would they eat in a week?”

Although these questions may not be great for the development of the Anhingas, they are incredible for the development of the students, and of the course of the week of imaginary travel, they will have had an experience and stories to swap with the 6-8th graders returning from the real alligator alley with tales of their own. Stay tuned for next post when we share stories and photos of the older kids’ adventure to the Everglades.