On our second day of school visits, we visited Baypoint Elementary School in the morning. I was disappointed because I left my digital camera on my seat of our chartered bus on Oct.16. So I couldn't take any pictures until I got back to the hotel. Our translator, Ms. Y, said to me that lost stuff in the States would not come back to me, especially when other people got on the same bus. I was shocked to hear that, even though I knew that. Trying to forget about taking pictures, I worked hard as a translator when our team was separated into a few groups.
In fact, this story has a happy ending. The bus driver who I talked with in the cafeteria on Oct.16 found my digital camera when he was checking inside the bus. He kindly passed it to the person who sent it to my hotel. As I thought it would not come back forever, I was so glad to hear the news and I deeply thanked him. This made me like Florida more and more ! I also thanked our translator, Ms.Y, since she called up the bus company many times. I was surprised to hear her say, "it is not anything special because I don't want you to have any disgusting memory in my area. I did that as a citizen living in Florida." I WILL NOT forget this kind of thinking in my life.
This is an elementary school which about 760 children, ranging from kindergarten to 5th grade, attend. This school has 'Center for Advancement of the Sciences and Technology,' and is a magnet school having a curriculum of advanced math, science, foreign languages, and technology. There are 36 teachers, 4 part-time teachers, 8 specialists, 6 faculties and 24 other employees. @
The children are supposed to learn writing, reading, social studies, math, science, art, P.E., and Spanish. Guitar and chorus can be selected, too.
As a magnet school, there are 8 specialists teaching math, science, technology and Spanish.
Children's broadcasting activities are actively done, and this school has a news studio called 'WBPE.' The children broadcast the American Pledge of Allegiance, sports news, and so on.
All the classrooms in every public school in the USA have the National Flag inside.
In case of teacher's absence, 4 part-time teachers who are registered come to school to teach.
Every classroom has several computers, and at least one of them can be connected to internet. Applications installed in the servers are available.
7 volunteer parent work as part-timers in the library. This kind of system began about 10-15 years ago. Parents of the school children, the aged who retired, students, people sent from companies can work there with some investigations.
The 1st graders were learning Spanish, using only Spanish as a language. The teacher was teaching it using many body signs, songs and pictures. Soon 5th graders entered the room to teach Spanish using pictures.
The second graders were writing sentences. They wrote down the same point and the differences between soccer and baseball, then they wrote about them through 'sentence webbing'. This was being done in pairs. By the way, children are supposed to take a big test on writing when they are in the 4th, 6th and 10th grade. Furthermore, the inside of the classroom was just like a festival because many many drawings and photos with explanation were put on every wall.
One 3rd grade child entered the classroom late. The teacher said "Good morning, I'm glad" to her hugging the child, when she received a paper from the Administration office. Seeing that, I rememberd my attitude in my school in Japan. Sometimes the children lost their concentration. The teacher suddenly began to sing "Are you ready ?" Then the children followed "We are ready." I don't know but I became happy to see it.
The 4th class was trying to talk during classes in groups.