CLEVELAND - Excitement abounds at Charles Dickens Elementary for being named this week’s Fox 8 Cool School. The number one goal at this inner city Cleveland Metropolitan School is to close the achievement gap and see students improve. Sometimes, enhanced learning takes place before or after school.
"We offer Wednesday morning interventions --whether it be for someone that's behind in their work or someone that is on task. We also offer enrichment time," Principal Lisa Braxton said.
Technology has been incorporated into the curriculum for all students -- kindergarten through the eighth grade. Study island is just one computer program students use to improve their math and reading skills. "We learn about days of the week and past student and ABC’s, and the computers and how to play the tablets," kindergartner Miricale Anderson said.
The teachers at Charles Dickens also use a problem based curriculum, giving students a hands on approach to learning. First graders integrate math and art to make marshmallow hexagons, while some seventh graders use a balloon in a bottle to learn a science lesson about air pressure.
"We do chapters and a lesson and after we're done we do a lab about it. It shows us what we read about in the lesson, what we talked about and see if we understand it more by doing hands on,” seventh grader Attallah Fard said.
Veggie U has been incorporated in the science classes in the lower grades. It is more than just learning about plants. "Veggie U is when you plant plants and you grow things and you get to eat it," second grader Ja’shiya Fitch said.
Along with eating healthy, there's a focus of fitness here. Many students are active in intramurals. We practice for basketball. We play flag football. We play soccer. We play all types of sports. We enjoy being active,” seventh grader Anthony Bowling added.