Steeped in the arts and interdisciplinary project-based learning, the Ray School curriculum affords students varied experiences to enrich a standard curriculum.
Haven Helpers is a PTO sponsored program at Ray. Haven Helpers is a community service focused program at the Ray School designed to help support the Upper Valley Haven, a homeless shelter in White River Junction. A small group of Fifth Grade students become Student Leaders to help promote and run the program. The fifth graders help to organize, chart and celebrate the various collections. Each month, a grade level is assigned one month to collect food and other needs for the Haven. In December, we hold school wide collections for socks and underwear. It is important for all students to be aware of and responsive to the needs of the greater community.
International Dot Day
International Dot Day is a global celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration. It began in 2009, featuring the story from Peter H. Reynolds’ book The Dot. The Ray School celebrates Dot Day at the beginning of the school year. During art class, the students create clever dot art. We have a culminating assembly in which the whole school dresses in "dots" and sings The Dot Song. The main idea is to encourage students to "make a mark and see where it takes you." It's a great way to kick off the school year with the message of giving a try, persevere and pride.
During the last week of school, the art department at Ray invites an author/illustrator to come and spend the day with the students of the Ray School. It's a great way to learn about how a book is created and meet a "real life" artist/author. Students engage in Q & A and are often asked to pose for our guest. In the past, Ray Schoolers have welcomed Matt Tavares and Marty Kelley with rave reviews! This has become a welcomed annual event as we close out our school year.
Kids & Community
The Kids and Community is a 5-week program aimed to promote “community” by having the children meet police officers, firefighters, dispatchers, town leaders, town employees, school administrators and Hanover High School students. A set of 25 community members are featured in trading cards, and they come to visit and meet the children. The program culminates in a whole-school assembly in mid-October.
Outdoor Learning Spaces at Ray
During the first few months of school, the fourth-grade classes go down to Camp Brook, a small brook behind the Ray School. In the Camp Brook outdoor classroom, fourth graders use the scientific method and power of observation to conduct animal inquiry. Students spend their time looking under rocks for various organisms that live in the brook. Throughout their studies, students record what they are observing in journals. Students are able to see and interact with nature a few yards from their classrooms in this outdoor learning area.
In kindergarten and first grade, the meadow habitat is a primary laboratory for exploration and inquiry. Children become aware of the diversity of animals, plants and living things in that habitat. They observe interactions of living things and become familiar with the changes in plants and animals that occur over time in that habitat. Students will become aware of how all of their senses are important tools for obtaining information while making connections with what they know about our earth.
The Colonial House is an authentic reproduction of a post-and-beam residence from the 1700s. Its construction was the idea of three second grade teachers in 1970, designed in Hanover High School student research, and constructed by local volunteers with hand tools of the era. The house is located behind the school and is used by second graders every year to learn about and live the history of colonial times.
The Ray School vernal pool is a temporary water pond that appears in the spring time after snow melts and spring rains begin. During other parts of the year, the area appears like a dry, grassy field. Each fall and spring, our third grade students make comparisons and conduct research about the vernal pool area. Classes walk to the vernal pool and see various life forms, including frogs, toads, fairy shrimp, and salamanders. Microscopes can be used to reveal smaller organisms in the water.