The Beech Hill Beacons continue to shine academically. Students are leading the way to lifelong learning through excellence, leadership and empowerment. We’re in Summerville for our Cool School of the week.
Beech Hill Elementary is a Palmetto’s Finest school with a consistent Excellent rating, and Palmetto Gold and Silver awards. Now, they’re trying something new. Principal Rene Harris says, “Beech Hill is a school that has enjoyed a great tradition of Excellence. This year, we’re trying to do something new and that is to not just rest on our laurels of academic excellence but push ourselves to do even more.”
The Beacons have a school wide focus on growth mindset, and have student empowerment initiatives like student-led parent conferences. Fifth-grade student Samantha Franklin says, “I like it because I get to explain to my parents what’s going on new, about what books we’re reading new, and the things we’re learning new.”
Beech Hill also implemented personalized Action Based Learning. Teacher Kentrel Clement says, “We have wobble stools. We have pedal tables. We have swivel boards, so the students could actually be moving while they’re learning. We also have foot rockers in the corner.”
There’s also Genius Hour focused on project based learning. “This gives them an opportunity to explore their passions, things that they’re passionate about, and to kind of be creative with it,” says teacher Erin Query.
One group is working on a project for Wounded Warriors. Query says, “It empowers them to realize that they can change the world.”
Students also have Maker’s Space, an area in the media center to build on STEM knowledge. “In the Makers Space arena in the media center, they can tap into interests that build on stem related activities, building and engineering,” says Principal Rene Harris. “We’re trying to have opportunities for kids to venture off into various interests or needs so they can feel like school is not one uniformed format, but that there is a place for each kind of learner, and those needs can be met regardless of what those needs call for within our school setting.”
Through a partnership with Ashley Ridge High School, juniors and seniors mentor Beech Hill students several times a week. Ashley Ridge junior Madeline Wood attended Beech Hill. Wood says, “We get this amazing opportunity to work with kids at different levels. We get to work with math, or reading or anything, and I think it’s a huge impact on kids because they look up to high schoolers.”
Beech Hill’s four-year-old kindergarten class is in charge of the school’s garden. The school offers a long list of unique early release days and after school clubs for students, including Young Scientists, Animal Club. Beacon CSI, Beacon Mail Delivery to name a few.
Coming up Friday on News 2, we’ll present the Beech Hill Beacons with our Cool School award.