What's New

Read Across America Week: Feb 25-March 1
HSSD elementary schools are ready for Read Across America Week! Join in on the fun - Find a full schedule of books and attire for each day of the week, here. The National Education Association’s Read Across America initiative is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading. It is celebrated on March 2nd, which is also the birthday of the famous children’s book author Dr. Suess. Our wonderful school media specialists at each HSSD school organize the week-long celebration ahead of March 2nd to celebrate reading and the many ways we promote and support literacy for our students at the HSSD.
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Students Get to Know Roz the Hamster
Third graders in Mrs. Jackson’s class are excited to welcome Roz - a furry, white hamster - to their room. Students will be busy in the coming weeks learning how to care for Roz in terms of cage maintenance and food/water needs, while also observing her eating and sleeping habits. Students will also read about the habitat and behaviors of hamsters in books Mrs. Jackson has selected from the library. Plans are also underway to soon acquire a rolling cage ball for Roz, so that she can safely engage with students, while rolling herself around the room as they work.
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Gardner EAST Program Partners with Community
The EAST (Education Advanced by Service and Technology) at Gardner STEM Program is a unique group of young entrepreneurs working in the Gardner STEM Magnet School community and the Hot Springs area to complete technology-based service projects. EAST classrooms are different from others, especially at the elementary level, because EAST curriculum is based on developing skills that are directly applicable to the real world through self-directed projects. Few schools in Arkansas host EAST programs for elementary students. The HSSD is proud to have Gardner focusing on EAST for such a young age, and EAST Facilitator Paul Miller helps to ensure that these young minds remain challenged, and are not underestimated. The group is excited to be part of the 2nd Annual Early Childhood STEAM Conference on January 26th, where they hope to partner with local Pre-K programs to build educational resources and outreach tools, and serve as mentors to younger students with an interest in technology.
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Lessons in Kindness
No students can have enough exercises, reminders, and examples of how to embody kindness toward others and toward themselves. Second grade teacher Mrs. Nikki Anderson seized an opportunity to offer a heartwarming lesson in kindness to her classroom of rambunctious students, with big hearts and curious minds. Students discussed personal examples and experiences with unkindness and identified solutions to improve their own behavior and treatment of others. Their responses to the exercise surprised even her, and has created a lasting impact for her kids about the power of kind words and gestures in all situations.
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Gardner Sound Choir Shares Holiday Spirit
The 35-student Gardner Sound Choir delivered holiday cheer via music and hand-written cards last week to residents of the Lake Hamilton Rehab. Gardner Music Teacher Mrs. Paula Bettis organized the visit as a stop on their way to perform at the Arkansas State Capitol. Students chose favorite songs including “All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth” for the appreciative crowd who - to the surprise of students - sang along with them. Mrs. Bettis worked with other Gardner teachers to include handwritten Christmas cards from multiple classrooms. Students delivered cards in hopes of also bringing comfort and holiday spirit to residents that could not watch the performance.
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HSSD Celebrates Spelling Bee Competitors
Last week, the HSSD hosted three spelling bees across the district for 1st - 8th grade students. HSSD Gifted and Talented Coordinator Mrs. Laura West coordinated the spelling bees, which are exciting competitions for students to improve their general spelling, vocabulary and language skills in a fun competition with their peers. All nine of our finalists - the top three from each bee, including Gardner 5th grader Michael Suhar- will advance to the Garland County Spelling Bee on January 24, 2019 at the Gospel Light Baptist Church Auditorium (600 Garland Avenue, Hot springs) at 9:00 a.m. HSSD Spelling Bees are held in coordination with official rules and scripts from the Scripps National Spelling Bee so that they are uniform with those hosted across the U.S.
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Gardner Hosts First Annual STEM Day
In a first annual STEM Day, Gardner STEM Magnet School dedicated an entire Friday to STEM-related activities and projects for kindergarten-5th grade students. The idea behind this effort was to create fun, diverse opportunities for students to explore STEM topics and activities. Partners from other schools within the HSSD and the community - including the Gardner PTO, HSWCHS EAST students, Henderson State University STEM Center, and Dawson Cooperative - were instrumental in creating a successful day of memorable activities and collaboration.
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Gardner STEM Receives Beating the Odds Award
Gardner STEM Magnet School and Hot Springs World Class High School have received Beating the Odds Awards for Math Growth at the elementary and high school levels from the Office for Education Policy at the University of Arkansas. Both schools are being honored by OEP because students demonstrated high growth in scores on the ACT Aspire in mathematics. Congrats to our world class students and staff across the HSSD!
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HSSD Holiday Performance Lineup
The HSSD is a diverse community of student groups, talents, and organizations. We look forward to each holiday performance and event throughout December. Don’t miss a thing, with an all-inclusive HSSD Holiday lineup, below. All events hosted at HSSD schools, as well as the Holiday Extravaganza on 12/6, are free to the public and open to all.
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Gardner Thanksgiving Kindergarten Feast
The annual Gardner Kindergarten Thanksgiving Feast is a colorful display of costumed students who bring to life the historic first Thanksgiving between Native Americans and European Pilgrims at Plymouth held to celebrate the colony’s first harvest. Gardner kindergarten teachers organize the event and invite student guests from all grade levels to attend. Kindergarten students dress as Native Americans and guest students from other grades dress as Pilgrims. A ceremonial walk to the cafeteria and student handmade gift exchange makes for a truly memorable lesson in expressing friendship, appreciation, and thanks.
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Gardner Lego League Combines Values & Robotics
The Gardner Magnet Lego League is a Robotics Club connected to leagues across the world through the FIRST Lego League Program, which is an alliance program established in 1998 between FIRST (For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology) and the Lego group. Through the program, which establishes an annual theme to guide these efforts, students work through a process of 1) Identifying a real world problem and solution, 2) Completing missions through robots and robotic technology, and 3) Following character-building Core Values. As they prepare for competition in December, learn more about how members intend to solve the problem of food provisions for long-term astronaut missions through cultivating crickets on spaceships to provide a protein-rich food source.
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Rockefeller String Quartet Visits Gardner STEM
Rockefeller String Quartet Visits Gardner STEM
Rockefeller String Quartet Visits Gardner STEM Gardner STEM third graders enjoyed a visit and performance from the Rockefeller String Quartet today. Some of the students even got to participate in an activity! They were asked to draw what the music made them feel or see in their mind.
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National STEM/STEAM Day
National STEM/STEAM Day
November 8 is National STEM/STEAM Day. With so much emphasis put on STEM and STEAM, this is a day you’ll want to celebrate! Here’s an overview explaining STEM (https://www.weareteachers.com/what-is-stem/).
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William Worden – Music: Ethnic
Arkansas Learning through the Arts
Stories of Earth and Sky- Storytelling & Flute Playing gave our fourth grade students the honor meeting a Native American, Mr. Worden, Tu La La, who shared stories with important cultural connections and taught the Native American Flute. Students got to hear stories of earth and sky and learned about how the earth and sky are portrayed in fiction and nonfiction.
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After School With Mid-America Science Museum
A new after school care program at Mid-America Science Museum, entitled Science After School, is being planned in collaboration with the HSSD. To launch this project, a pilot program will be conducted beginning on January 7, 2019 and will be offered Monday through Friday from 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm until the end of the school year. At this time, Science After School will only be available for a maximum of 107 K-6 HSSD students. This pilot program will be the first of its kind in the state of Arkansas. Forms and fees are due December 10, 2018.
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Gardner Second Graders Make Stone Soup
Second grade Gardner students made their own Stone Soup after reading the historic folktale about the value of sharing and collaborating. In the tale, hungry travelers convince the people of a town to each share a small amount of their food in order to make a meal that everyone enjoys. Students brought cans of potatoes, corn, carrots, peas, chicken broth, and green beans and combined all items to make a large pot of soup to share.
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HSSD Observes School Bus Safety Week
During National School Safety Week, officials across the U.S. work to educate students and staff about best safety practices for school buses. HSSD Deputy Superintendent Lloyd Jackson and Transportation Staff are working in all HSSD schools to ensure that every student has been updated on bus safety practices during a school presentation this week. Students are then also completing a live evacuation exercise where they exit a bus just as they would during a live emergency scenario.
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HSSD Students Experience Arkansas Symphony
Thanks to the Hot Springs/Hot Springs Village Symphony Guild, Garland County 3rd - 6th graders experience a memorable performance by the unforgettable Arkansas Symphony Orchestra every year in Hot Springs. This year musicians presented Story Time, which connected the excellent musical performance to favorite literary tales. The annual student concert is tied to curriculum customized for the performance. Development of the curriculum is heavily influenced by our own HSSD teachers including Mrs. Sue DeLeon, Mrs. Becky Counts and Mrs. Casey Wylie, who help write the majority of the Student Journal portion.
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Red Ribbon Week, Oct 22-26
Students across the U.S. are getting ready for Red Ribbon Week® 2018! This year’s theme is: Life Is Your Journey. Travel Drug Free. At all HSSD schools, students will engage in activities that promote a drug free and healthy lifestyle. Please partner with us and discuss this message at home, at the dinner table, at family outings, and with friends and extended family. Students can be part of the celebration by enjoying themed dress up days for all schools which are included here.
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Gardner Video Project Highlights Composting
The Garland County Master Gardeners, EAST at Gardner students, and third grade classes are collaborating to create multiple composting bins at Gardner STEM Magnet School. The process of building compost piles, determining what and how to add items to the compost, and then using compost to enhance area flower beds and eventually a vegetable garden is being documented via video series.
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VEX IQ Robotics Club Builds Engineering Skills
At Gardner Magnet, the VEX IQ Robotics Club meets after school every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday to study and experience robotic engineering. Through the VEX IQ program, Gardner has acquired a snap-together robotics system with many pieces and parts designed from the ground up to build engineering skills in students of all ages.
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