Tech Gadgets for Back to School

August 20, 2014

Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker — $199

This portable speaker is perfect for the new school year. Bose products are known for their great sound quality, and this speaker lives up to expectations, packing a punch while easily fitting in your bag. Bluetooth lets you or friends pick the tunes from your phone without the hassle of wires.

Spotify — $10 per month

While Spotify Premium may not be a gadget technically speaking, the service and app that come with it are a must-have for college students. Spotify’s deep library is not unique to the music streaming service, but the company’s social features blow competitors Beats, Pandora and Rdio out of the water. Users have the option of linking their account to their Facebook page, which allows them to send music to friends, check out playlists made by other users and tune into classmates’ listening tastes to discover new songs. The $10 per month price tag may seem expensive up front but with all of your friends’ and the world’s music at your fingertips, the price is worth it.

Panasonic RPTCM125K Headphones — $15

These in-ear headphones have all of the features a student could need, including high quality sound, an ergonomic fit and a connected microphone with a remote. They are also easy to replace if broken or lost in the whirlwind of student life. If you’re looking for more high-end in-ear or over-ear headphones, avoid flashy brand Beats and get a pair of Audio-Technica, Sennheiser or Klipsch headphones.

Google Chromecast — $35

Google released the Chromecast last summer as a cheap alternative to the Apple TV. The device is incredibly easy to set up and allows users to watch content from their Netflix, YouTube, HBO GO, Hulu and ESPN accounts on their television. Users can also stream anything from their computer or mobile device to their TV in seconds through the Chrome browser.

MacBook Air 13-inch with $100 dollar Apple Store gift card (before Sept. 9) — $999

The MacBook Air is a great computer for students. It fits nicely into any bag or backpack, weighing only three pounds. With a battery that lasts up to 12 hours, students can leave their chargers in their dorm room and know that they’ll have enough battery life for class, the library and anything else they may need their computer for later on. Be sure to show your college ID for a discount and take advantage of Apple’s back-to-school deal, which gives away a $100 dollar Apple gift card with every MacBook purchased.

GoPro Hero3+ — $400

GoPro’s latest iteration brings a high-end HD video camera to the palm of your hand. The “smaller, lighter, mightier” camera is perfect for weekend trips, outdoor adventures on the Potomac, urban exploring and filming college hijinks. The GoPro app makes sharing videos with family and friends easy. The app can also be used as a remote controller for the camera.

Kodak PixPro Smart Lens SL10 — $230

Kodak’s PixPro Smart Lens system is a powerful camera that easily clips on to your Apple or Android smartphone. While other products attempt to enhance your smartphone’s camera, the Kodak PixPro is a standalone that sends high quality photos to users’ phones using Bluetooth technology. The PixPro Smart Lens is available in a 10x and 25x zoom and is a great product for amateur and more serious photographers.
(Exclusive deals at Radio Shack for both lenses.)

Kindle Paperwhite without Special Offers — $139

Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite is the most advanced and easiest to use e-reader on the market right now. The touch screen device does a handy job of replicating the feeling of reading a paper book and is conveniently backlit for nighttime reading. In addition, the Kindle allows readers access to Amazon’s vast collection of reasonably priced e-books, which includes free classics that are covered in class but not by copyright laws.

Fitbit Flex — $100

Fitbit is leading the pack in wearable health technology with its subtle, comfortable wristbands. The company sells a variety of band products enhanced with hardware that tracks physical activity, calories burned and even how well you sleep. The band transmits this data to the fitbit app, which helps you set fitness goals and set your alarm to optimize your sleep schedule.
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Seams Bursting, Hyde-Addison Moves Forward

May 21, 2014

Welcome to Georgetown, Hyde-Addison Elementary School – even though you’ve been here since 1907.

Hyde-Addison, on the west side of Georgetown between P and O Streets, is growing too big for its buildings: Hyde for pre-kindergarteners through 2nd graders and Addison for 3rd through 5th graders. The school needs basic work to keep up with the latest ideas in teaching and learning.

The first part of the project will retrofit the Hyde building to make it more accessible and enable it to accommodate more students. The second part of the project is the construction of a media center, a gym, a cafeteria and a walkway connecting the two buildings.

Dana Nerenberg, Hyde-Addison’s principal, who will be leaving at the end of the school year to be with her fiance in Oregon said, “The most important part of the renovation is to improve learning conditions for our students. We will enjoy new lighting, flooring and furnishings in every space. We are also excited to have bathrooms adjacent to every classroom. This will be convenient and preserve learning time.”

Hyde is bursting at the seams with children. Some of them are products of the general baby boom in Georgetown. (Visit any local park – they’re all swarming with little ones and their nannies.) And some of the pressure on Hyde comes from the expansion of the school’s in-boundary population and the possibility that Burleith’s kids will be added to the Hyde pool in the near future.

For some time now, Hyde-Addison has been moving, slowly, through all the layers of bureaucracy that embrace – or encumber – the D.C. school system, the city itself and, perhaps most onerous of all, Georgetown. One of the reasons Georgetown looks like, well, Georgetown, is because there are many fierce guardians keeping it that way.

The one that strikes the most trepidation into the hearts of the legions of architects, engineers, planners, shopkeepers and plain ol’ rich people who populate the neighborhood is the Old Georgetown Board, whose message is simple: “My name is OGB, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” (Sorry, Percy Bysshe Shelley.)

Coming before the OGB for the fifth time in April, Hyde-Addison got preliminary approval to proceed, which is a great step forward. As Hyde parent and former ANC commissioner John Lever diplomatically noted, “As with all large public efforts in Georgetown, it must go through several different review bodies.”

The OGB is not the last stop for Hyde. After the project gets OGB and Commission of Fine Arts approval, the school will coordinate with the District’s Department of General Services to begin work next school year or as soon as all the permits are in place.

Architectural rendering of Hyde-Addison Elementary School

Summer Camps of the Day

April 11, 2014

Ahhh, summer. My boys would spend the best time of the year playing “gear grinding game,” which isn’t its name but is what it sounds like. Bloody and stupid, to give into gear grinding game would be to raise a serial killer. But, if you parents have the cash, you won’t have to visit your darlings in San Quentin. Instead, you can raise basketball-playing public advocates with crocheting skills, all with the help of your local summer camp.

For the little ones, of course, there are sports and crafts and, well, “the whimsy and joy of summer.” St. John’s Episcopal Preschool promises to foster “links between the natural world and aesthetic experiences. Utilizing indoor and outdoor classrooms and studios, children express their own observations and theories using multiple media.” By multi-media, they do not mean computer games.

But when they get a little bigger, camp does sometimes mean computer games; making them, not playing them. Georgetown Day offers a set of classes called 21Innovate. The programming part introduces `’tweens to Linux, HTML and something called Ruby & Dynamic Web Pages (I don’t even know if they go together and the ampersand is part of the name or not.) For high schoolers “eager to experience and explore the relationship between social justice and policy,” GDS will help students “take action by engaging in the development and execution of policy and advocacy work.” Wow. I’m already scared.

Hardy Middle School offers camps under the D.C. Department of Parks and Rec. There’s one called “Three Pointers and Prose Camp,” which is a “high energy basketball camp, which incorporates on-court skill development and game play, with the writings of some of history’s luminary African-American poets. Campers will spend time each day reading a daily selection, before hitting the court for more hoops.” Poetry would go a long way toward improving the NBA, if you ask me.
Basketball is big all over D.C. Georgetown University, not surprisingly, offers up basketball camp, ostensibly led by the school’s own coach, John Thompson. Heat stroke appears to be a major concern, as the boys (only boys, 8-18) live in air-conditioned dorms and play on air-conditioned courts. Best of all, though, they get all-you-can-eat meals and a FREE Nike t-shirt. That might entice my boys. The only thing they care about more than shooting monsters online is Nike swag.

No matter what your kid wants to do, there’s a camp to match. Sports camps are everywhere–no curling, but pretty much everything else, from fencing to diving, baseball to tennis. The DC YMCA wants to know if you’ve “got a yen for lunar learning?” If so, buckle up for air and space camp (I could swear my sister enrolled years ago). “Appetizing Art” camp lets you bake and eat things that “not only look great but taste great, too!” Sidwell has a knitting camp. “Imagine your child spending her day in the care of warm and loving counselors knitting, crocheting, hand and machine sewing the day away making the most adorable creations.” Anything I could think of, I could find. Except, finally, I was thwarted. The only Dungeons and Dragons camp I could find—there is one, though—is in Indianapolis.
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The Georgetown University Learning Community

January 17, 2014

Georgetown University is giving adults the chance to go back to school with short non-credit courses at their Georgetown campus. People ‘55 or better’ can take part in the university’s School of Continuing Education to engage in courses ranging from current political hot topics, literature, and the sciences.

Preregistration is required with limited class-sizes. Registration fees are $30 for one course and $50 for two or more courses. Dues-paid members (and their spouses) of The Association of Main-Campus Retired Faculty, The DC Alumni Club, The GU Library Associates, and present or past GU Learning Community faculty can register for at no charge.

Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery

Ellen Henderson, Professor of Biology, Emerita

Wednesdays, 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.; Feb. 26, March 5 and 12.

Human trafficking is now the second largest money-maker among illicit international criminal activities. This short course will look first at the international situation and the role of the U.S. government in efforts to prevent global trafficking, as well as on a national level and within the District.

F. Scott Fitzgerald: More Than Ever

Paul Lilly, Professor of English, Emeritus, SUNY Binghamton

Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.; March 13, 20, 27

This course will focus on reading and discussing some of Fitzgerald’s great works such as The Great Gatsby (1925), “The Rich Boy” (1926), and “Babylon Revisited,” and Book I through III of Tender Is the Night (1934). As well as addressing relevant information about Fitzgerald’s life.

The Social Impact of the Internet Now and in the Future

Professor: Lee Rainie, Director, Pew Research Center’s Project on The Internet and American Life
Tuesdays, 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.; March 18, 25 and April 1

The lectures for this course will explore the rise and impact of the Internet, the development of “mobile life,” and the future of the Internet.
All classes will be held in The Murray Room, Fifth Floor, Lauinger Library. Parking ($3/hour) in the South Parking Garage, enter from Canal Road. For additional information on more courses and descriptions about the instructors, visit, email, or call 202-687-7000.

Fun and Learning meet at Anna Banana’s Arts and Crafts

August 15, 2013

The walls of Anna Banana’s colorful studio are lined with the artwork of famous and influential artists alongside mini replicas crafted by the small hands of her students.

Georgetown’s newest arts and craft studio opened Jan. 7 and provides hands-on art lessons for children ages 2-8 taught by owner Anne Freeman.?“I was an art dealer for 20 years, but I really wanted to find something that would marry my love of art with my desire to teach,” said Freeman.

Before opening Anna Banana’s Arts and Crafts on S Street, the enthusiastic Freeman taught art privately for two years and was also the instructor at the Art Resource Program at Chevy Chase Bethesda Community Children’s Center and at the Art Resource Unit at Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church Nursery School.

Each class begins with a short lesson about a different artist and the importance of their work. Then, Freeman allows her students to recreate the artist’s work using their own imagination.

For example, students learn about Josef Albers, the German artist known for his color experiments, or Alexander Calder, the American sculptor famous for his mobiles, and get to recreate those experiments using colors and shapes of their choice.

“I try to keep it simple. I don’t overwhelm them with information. I give them an idea, I show them examples, and I have them go at it. It’s supposed to be fun, but educational at the same time,” said Freeman.

The small classes of up to ten students are also introduced to the basics of art, like color combinations, the color wheel, and dimensions, through the use of different materials and tech- niques, such as clay, watercolors, and paper pulp. Students also create seasonal crafts, such as Valentines for their parents.

When Freeman decided to expand her private business, she was excited to find the Georgetown location, “I’ve worked and lived in this area for a long time and when I saw the space, I had to have it” said Freeman of her S Street location. “It’s just a great place. Parents can go get coffee or go for a walk during class. So, it can give them a little break.”

The arts center also hosts birthday parties for small groups including a craft project and games, as well as drop in hours on the first and third Saturday of every month, with register required 24 hours in advance.

Anna Banana Arts and Crafts is gearing up for its spring session, beginning March 18, well as a day camp during the summer months. Sessions are offered in 10-week increments.

The summer day camp, running in June and July, will provide children with a morning lesson and an afternoon at the nearby park.

For more information, or to register, visit ([]
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Private School Admissions Can Be Testing for All

You can see them huddled together near the basketball court at Rose Park. Catch a snatch of a conversation between two moms on N Street. Watch them fret over iced tea and poke at salads at Patisserie Poupon. Parents. Fretting.

It is private school admission season, and tensions are running high.

“It is a tragi-comedy,” mutters one mother, whose son is in kindergarten at Georgetown Day. It certainly generates a lot of anxiety, and a great deal of discussion among a certain set. It is also time-consuming. All those school tours. All those parent coffees, Q and A’s, and child visits. A lot of bother for the privilege of paying $25,000 a year for something you can also get for free.

“It is a long process,” says another mother. “You go look at the school, at yet another posh art room, then you apply and write essays about your kid’s strengths—painful—and then, worst of all, you take the kid in and the school decides she ‘has trouble with transitions’ and they don’t let you in!”
Then, there are the standardized tests for four-year-olds with questions like “Can you name a vegetable?” Then there are SSATs for the bigger ones. “Boat is to ship as log is to…” The tests mean more appointments, more fees, more stress, and more time spent away from schoolwork, running around outside, or sanity.

Parents complain the process can make you crazy. All the rumors and “helpful” tips have a famous parent. Okay, then, know any famous people? Hillary Clinton wrote for one kid. He got into Sidwell. Or do you have a lot of patience and a lot of dough for myriad $50 admissions fees? Another family applied to 13 private schools—13! That girl got into Washington International School. Got private-plane kind of money? One school is rumored to have let in both its richest and the dumbest class during the first year of a massive capital campaign. “All the rooms in this building,” the mother of an 8th grade boys says, “are named after the families in our class.”

Annie Farquhar has been the director of admissions at Maret for 24 years. She says applications come in at a healthy clip, despite the economic downturn, and she recommends a relaxed attitude toward the whole process. That’s probably because she is in the enviable position of gatekeeper, when demand for spots is high and supply is low.

“If parents are nervous about applying,” she says, “their child will pick up on it, so try to relax and enjoy this discovery process as much as possible.”

Of course, the best way to approach it all is with a big worldview. How much does it really matter? Perhaps less than it seems on that March day when the letters fall through the mail slot? Perhaps admissions directors know what they’re doing when they don’t let little Tommy in because he cannot sit still? Maybe he would not thrive at school X, despite what his parents want?

Megan Gabriel is the mother of three kids—one in college, one at St Albans and another at NCS. She says perhaps private school parents ought to “jump ship, save our money and put the time, effort and thousands of dollars into public schools. After all, as far as colleges are concerned, an A is an A, no matter where it comes from.”

Last-Minute Summer Camps

June 6, 2013

Soon, the final school bell will ring, and the last bus will pull out of the school parking lot to drop off students at home for the last time this school year. Some of these students may find themselves working this summer or visiting family away from home. If neither of these are options for your child this summer, maybe one of the following can occupy their time. These 11 camps are still recruiting young campers, and each offers a unique and rewarding experience that is sure to benefit your child and give them life lessons and memories.

Explo Summer Program:

Boasting three different campuses in Connecticut, Explo, short for Exploration, has been a two- to three-week long summer option for more than 35 years. Your child can take classes that interest them, ranging from politics to improv. When classes are done, there are afternoon and evening activities. When: Session One: June 30-July 20; Session Two: July 21-Aug. 10. Rates: $5,315 – $5,640

L’Academie de Cuisine:

If your child always wants to help in the kitchen, the L’Academie de Cuisine offers week-long day camps. Classes are divided into children and teens, and classes for both age groups offer delicious options such as Tour of Italy. Sign-ups are available up to the first day of class, but classes are small making spots limited. Kids eat all they create. Week-long camps starting June 17 through 21 until Aug. 12-16. Two teen evening classes, July 9 and 10; Aug. 13 and 14. Rates: $405 for week; $175 for evening.

Washington International School:

WIS has specialty camps for ages 3-10 including a workshop balanced with sports and games. There are also language camps for ages 3-10 or 7-12. Language options are Chinese, French and Spanish. Extended day care available.; Where: Washington International School (1690 36th Street NW, Washington DC 20007) When: Week-long sessions, beginning June 24 until Aug. 05. Rates: $200-$395

Headfirst Summer Camps:

With options for kids from ages 3 ½ to 12, and a variety of sport and education camps, there is sure to be a fit for your child.; 202-625-1921. Where: Mater Dei School or St. Albans School When: Sessions running from June 10 to Aug. 19. Rates: $125-$439

Digital Media Academy:

Kids ages 6-11 can enjoy day camps, and 12-17 aged teens can take a one or two-week long course, staying either just during the day or overnight at GWU. Topics include filmmaking, photography and music production.; Where: George Washington University Campus When: One-Week or Two-Week (ages 13-17 only) sessions July 8-12, July 15-19, July 22-26, and July 29-Aug. 2. Rates: $695-$3015

Smithsonian Summer Camp:

The 44th year of Summer Camp at the Smithsonian features camps for grades K-9 at the Smithsonian Institution.; Where: S. Dillon Ripley Center, Smithsonian Institution When: June 24 – Aug. 16. One week long sessions with both half-day and full-day programs. Rates: Full Day: $185-$428.

D.C. United Summer Camp Series and Striker/GK Camps:

Campers will have the chance to meet a D.C. United first team player each week as they reinforce foundational soccer elements and learn new skills from the pros. D.C. United Training Complex; Where: D.C. United Training Complex (2400 East Capitol St., SE, Washington, D.C.) When: June 17-21 until Aug. 12-19; Striker/GK Camp July 8-12; July 29-Aug. 2.

Summer Safari Day Camp Summer Safari:

is available for children entering grades K-7. Campers will explore the lives of animals and take part in projects.; Where: Smithsonian National Zoological Park When: June 17 – Aug. 9 Rates: Five-day sessions: $380 members/$475 non-members. Four-day session (July 1-3, 5): $305/$382.

Crime Museum’s (CSI) Camp:

Campers get a hands-on experience in crime investigation. On the final day of camp, campers participate in a mock court trial.; Where: National Museum of Crime & Punishment When: June 17 – June 21; July 15 – July 19 Rates: $275-$475.

Mariner Sailing School:

Campers will learn the rules and skills involved in sailing with a student-to-instructor ratio of 6:1.; Where: Belle Haven Marina in Alexandria, Va. When: Beginning June 3rd Rates: $200-$480

Washington Performing Arts Society:

These one-week programs are funded in part by the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities. Each program is designed to teach your child confidence in whichever art they are partaking.; 202-533-1861. Time and location vary by program. ?

2013 Summer Camp Guide

March 28, 2013

The days are getting longer. The weather will get warmer, and school will be out soon enough. It’s the time of year when parents are deciding how their child will spend their summer vacation. Instead of lounging around the house, take a look at some of the summer camps offered in the area. No matter what a child’s interest may be, from technology to theater, there is a camp for them. Be sure to sign up soon because sessions are filling up, some even offer discounts for early registration. Whether it’s a half-day or full day program, most camps are offering before and after care for an additional cost, check with specific camps for details.

Levine School Music and Art Day Camp, (202) 686-8000
Where: Campuses in D.C. (2801 Upton St. NW), Strathmore in Bethesda, Md., and Arlington, Va.
When: Sessions from June 24-July 12 and July 15-August 2 with both half-day and full-day programs.
Rates: $1,170 full day tuition, $810 half-day tuition
This year’s theme for the popular summer program at Levine school of music is Water, Water Everywhere. Students, ages 3 1/2 to 12, will use the theme to actively learn music, dance, stories, games, and arts from various cultures, as well as get hands on exposure to classical instruments taught by Levine school faculty.

Georgetown University Summer Day Camp at Yates Field House, (202) 687-2400
Where: Centered at Georgetown University at Yates Field House.
When: Six week long sessions, the first beginning June 24 and the last starting July 20
Rates: $280 for Yates members and $380 for nonmembers before May 1. Prices increase to $300 for members and $400 for nonmembers after May 1.
The comprehensive day-long camp, centered at Yates Field House and Kehoe Field, offers campers ages 6-10 activities including swimming at McCarthy Pool, team-based games, arts and crafts, talent shows and much more.

Sidwell Friends School Summer Camps, (202) 537-8133
Where: D.C. Campus (3825 Wisconsin Ave. NW) and Bethesda Campus.
When: Week and two week long sessions are offered in full-day and half day increments. Beginning June 10, with the last session beginning August 5.
Rates: Prices vary depending on camp.
Sidwell Friends School offers an array of camps for children ages 3 1/2 years old to 12th grade. Camps vary from academic enrichment, specific sports, cultural exploration, adventure camp, and workshop-based programs. Specialty camps include Lego engineering, handwork, and machine sewing camps. No matter a child’s interest, Sidwell Friends School has a program to meet every child’s needs.

Tudor Place Summer History Camp, (202) 965-0400
Where: Tudor Place (1644 31st Street NW) and Dumbarton House (2715 Q Street NW)
When: Week-long sessions begin July 22, with the last session starting August 12.
Rates: $175 per session for members, $190 for non-members.
For the young ones, ages 4-10, Tudor Place offers a half day camp (9 a.m. – noon) that throws campers head on into the history of Tudor Place and Dumbarton House. Campers walk in the footsteps of past Georgetowners by going on scavenger hunts through the historic houses, explore crafts of the past, dress in period costumes, and conduct archaeological digs.

Camp Shakespeare, (202) 547-5688
Where: STC Rehearsal Studio, 516 & 507 8th Street SE, camps also offered in Silver Spring, Md. and McLean, Va.
When: Two-week intensives June 17-August 10 and three week advanced camp July 1-July 20.
Rates: $725 for two-week intensive, $1,100 for three-week advanced camp.
A full day (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) camp separated into three age groups, campers age 9-18 develop talents, build confidence, and deepen their understanding of the work of William Shakespeare. Students study classic acting techniques, stage combat, voice and movement techniques, and improvisation. Campers put on productions and performances on Saturday mornings.

Anna Banana Arts & Crafts,
(202) 248-0661
Where: Anna Banana Arts & Crafts studio, 3270 S Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20007
When: Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Rates: $300 per week
Campers will explore the bounty of art and nature in the studio and on our daily excursion to lovely and close-by Montrose Park for a snack, en plein air painting and play time. In the studio, children age 4-8 will explore materials such as clay, paint, pastel and others. Medium include photography, sculpture, painting and print making. We will use the nature around us to inspire art and craft projects. Campers will enjoy the light-filled and relaxed studio atmosphere where we listen to music while creating masterpieces. Campers bring their own bag lunch and a snack.

Beauvoir Summer,
Where: 3500 Woodley Road, NW Washinton, DC 20016 , 202-537-6485
When: 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. weekdays
Rates: Rates vary depending on age.
Beauvoir understands the role that play—specifically outdoor play—has in early childhood education, and just how important that role is. This year, the camp introduces, Beauvoir Outdoors, a unique outdoor play space with lots of educational value. While all of our camps will take advantage of the Beauvoir Outdoors as the wonderful play space it is, two camps were designed specifically to expose campers to the many challenges and opportunities that await them outside that door. These camps are Nature Navigators (for 4–6 year olds) and Outdoor Adventures (for 7–10 year olds). ? [gallery ids="101212,144974,144970" nav="thumbs"]


November 6, 2012

You might not see them right away, but you sure can hear them. The teacher bellows, “Supermans!” and a bunch of people a quarter of his size giggle and reach out their arms. “Now, Hulk,” he rumbles, flexing his biceps, as several smaller pairs of arms Hulk out on the blacktop. “Batmaaaaans!” he sings, his rapt audience following every move.

A half block from busy Wisconsin Avenue, where the buses blow exhaust and the cab drivers honk, Hyde-Addison Elementary School is a vibrant, integral part of Georgetown life. This D.C. public school is a place of non-stop action—with 15 classrooms, a library, a cafeteria and a science lab—even after school. “For starters,” says Kara Sullivan, whose son Curtis is in Kindergarten at Hyde, “the strong sense of community is strengthened by seeing classmates, teachers, parents, and Hyde t-shirts as we walk around Georgetown. Where my elementary school had school buses lines up to swiftly take kids away from school at 3:15, there’s a lingering open play date for all kids after Hyde gets out.”

The social curriculum, in the playground, is just as important as what goes inside the school’s walls. Hyde operates on a philosophy that positive interaction is crucial to learning and that learning itself is not simply academic learning. One of the school’s tenets reads, “There is a set of social skills that kids need to be successful: cooperation, assertion, responsibility empathy and self-control.” The school’s physical layout and its meetings and rules are designed to encourage positive interaction—between students and teachers, parents and administrators. And, though it is not explicitly stated, between the school and its environment.

Hyde might once have been a place that drove parents to move out of Georgetown and ignored by those who could afford to send their children elsewhere. Now, Hyde pulls families into Georgetown. The price is right, the commute to school a pleasant stroll, the parents and kids proud of the place. “Georgetown often feels like a small town tucked in a big city,” says Dana Nerenberg, Hyde’s principal. She adds that the school benefits greatly from the community, from volunteers to partnerships.

A local school makes the big city seem manageable and, perhaps, not so scary. “One of the benefits of a neighborhood school is having other kids to play with after school and on weekends,” says Leslie Maysak, who has two boys at Hyde and a block-long commute. “As well as, for me as a parent, knowing the other families personally and having a network of people that can count on each other to pick up your child in a pinch or keep an eye on them for a few minutes,”

Hyde’s presence makes Georgetown about more than just shopping and (lack of) parking. Bob Tompkins’s son, Jack, is in first grade. “To really be a community,” he says, “you have to cover all the aspects of life. It is great that among all the other things Georgetown has to offer, it is a great place to raise a family.”

Ten years ago, there was zero buzz about Hyde. For some parents, sending a kid there was a radical move; few of their neighbors in Georgetown did. Many of the kids who grew up near Hyde were driven, or took the bus, up and out Wisconsin Avenue to private school. Now, Hyde is a strong and growing part of the life of the neighborhood. Enrollments are up, and interest in the school is high. With the PTA’s help, the school has bought iPads and intends to incorporate them into next year’s curriculum. The school is looking to expand its library and build a gym.
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”Green” MBAs: Learning Environmental Responsibility

In the green spirit of the spring, let’s look at how business schools are working towards a greener environment. Can the future business men and women learn not only how to go out there and make millions of dollars, but also how to be environmentally responsible? The George Washington School of Business is one of the business schools that integrates corporate social responsibility into their business programs. GWU offers the so-called ”green” MBA in Environmental Policy and Management which focuses on the science, technology and social impact of global business, grooming the students to go work for the government, NGO’s and non-profits. Other universities in the Washington metro area who offer ”green” MBAs are the University of Maryland and the Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, who offer MBA programs concerning social and environmental awareness in business.

One of the former GWU students who graduated in 2009 is Mark Frieden. He decided to do the MBA in Environmental Policy and Management after reading about triple bottom line management, also known as the three pillars; people, planet and profit on the website

”The main focus in the education was to learn how to make sure that companies have environmental responsibility. Take oil companies that drill for oil in the sea. There’s nothing wrong with drilling for oil, but they have to make sure that they do it in an environmental responsible way so that we can avoid disasters like the BP oil spill in 2010,” says Frieden, who’s currently on the board of DC Greenworks. DC Greenworks is a non-profit organization that among other things work with green roofs, rain barrels and rain gardens, urban agriculture and green job training.

It is not just business schools working to integrate corporate responsibility into the minds of business men and women. Net Impact is a non-profit membership organization for professionals and students who wish to use their business skills to support environmental and social causes. The organization was started in 1993 as Students for Responsible Business, and was renamed in 1998 to include both students and professional MBA graduates.

”Net Impact has been important for how business schools started to integrate environmental responsibility in their programs”, says Mark Frieden.

Net Impact is based in San Franscisco and has 280 volunteer-led chapters in business schools across the U.S. and countries on the other continents. Both George Washington University’s School of Business, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and the University of Maryland have Net Impact chapters. The member students seek to build a network of business leaders commited to making a positive environmental, social and economic impact.