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BJM Scholars as Change Makers

We Think, We Question, We Transform
By Dr. Susan Eschbach

Riffing off of a pep rally three years ago, conceived to bring folks together early in the year for a grand kick-off to school, we began to think about who we are and what we ought to share each September.  We questioned the old model of visiting the school to learn about the coming year. And we transformed our curriculum night into a We Learn Showcase! And what a showcase it was! The cafeteria overflowed with families eating together. We had to run out for more sheet pizzas to join the chicken wings, noodle dishes, and desserts brought by families. We feasted on bottomless salad bowls of greens from our garden.

Then we gathered for the pep rally and kids were called to stand for their many involvements in school this year. "Stand if you made a new friend yet! Stand if you are playing an instrument! Stand if you are collecting words! Stand if you go to Farm to Table or Go Tutoring or enjoy playing with pipes and tires at recess! Grown-ups and kids all stand if you are reading a book this week!"

After a few other unifying and motivating remarks, families were off to classrooms to share the learning. Poems already revised and produced, new math tricks demonstrated on the whiteboards,
huge body-sized self-portraits claiming one’s own great qualities. The rooms were filled with families learning from their students, sharing the wealth of the first three weeks of school.
For we are a rich school indeed.

BJM We Learn Showcase
BJM We Learn Showcase
BJM We Learn Showcase
BJM We Learn Showcase
BJM We Learn Showcase

Belle Sherman
Beverly J Martin
Cayuga Heights
Fall Creek
South Hill
Boynton Middle
DeWitt Middle
Ithaca HS
Lehman Alternative


Ithaca City School District
Dr. Luvelle Brown, Superintendent
400 Lake Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 274-2101