Archive for May, 2013

Don’t Miss the Carnival

May 29th, 2013

With the school year winding down, it’s time for one final event to really separate the Henderson International School from the rest. We do things Carnival Photodifferently here, and that includes how we wrap up the school year. This week is focused almost entirely on finals…almost, because at the end of the week we’re all going to be focused on the End of the Year Carnival!

Sponsored by the PTA, this annual event is a fantastic way to for everyone to say goodbye for the summer. The carnival kicks off at 8:30am for preschool students, with classroom parties to follow, and at 9:30am for the lower school. The carnival is all about having fun, so students are allowed a free dress day, and should bring a few extra items to school, including:

  • Flip-flops
  • Appropriate swim suits
  • Sunscreen
  • A towel
  • A change of clothes
  • A hat

Last year’s carnival was a blast! In 2012 we had bounce areas, inflatable basketball hoops, giant sized hamster balls and even a massive water balloon fight! With all of that excitement, we can’t wait to see what surprises are in store for this year’s carnival!

Of course, not everyone will be at the carnival. On the last day of school, middle school students will be taking a fun-filled field trip to King Putt. These students may also wear appropriate free dress clothing. For 8th graders especially, this special trip will be a memorable day that will culminate the 2012–2013 school year.

The school day, and year, will end with a 3pm dismissal, closing the chapter on another fantastic year at Henderson International. Be sure to stay tuned to this blog, as well as on Facebook ( and Twitter ( for exciting information on what’s happening over the summer and what will be happening in the 2013–2014 year!

WOW! It has been an awesome year and it’s gone by so quickly. We certainly have had a blast and learned a lot this year at the Henderson International School!

HIS Blog

Henderson International School injects fun and community service to enrich each student’s learning experience. This has been a formula for success across all the Meritas Schools worldwide. This year, we have continued to set the standard for excellence. As a few examples of our activities, Henderson International School competed in regional science competitions, developed recycling programs to combat poverty in the world and bonded with our pets right here on campus.

The 22nd Annual Science Bowl was a definite win, not only for the participants but for the community. After all, we are developing the innovative leaders of the future. The Science Bowl is an initiative managed through the United States Department of Energy’s Office of Science. More than 4,500 middle school students competed in 45 middle school regional Science Bowl tournaments. Students, in teams of four or five, competed in a fast-paced Jeopardy-style format where they solved technical problems and answered questions in all branches of science and math.

The TerraCycle program, implemented this year at the Henderson International School, was spearheaded by math teacher Tara Perez. This recycling program turns recyclable materials into school supplies for homeless teens donations, earns points toward providing clean water and meals for the impoverished. This program reinforces the habit of preserving the environment while also teaching students the importance of caring for others in need, developing the idea that our students are global citizens.

We just hosted our annual Pet Day celebration on April 19. Students brought their dogs, cats, tortoises, hamsters and even one iguana, to share with their classmates. Not only was it fun, but it was a great opportunity for students to showcase their beloved pets and encourage social interactions in our student community.

We’re already looking forward to next year.  To wrap up this year, don’t forget to attend the PTA Carnvial on the last day of school, May 31!

To learn more about the Henderson International School and to enroll for next year, please visit our website at


The Trial of the Century

May 14th, 2013

One may think of any number of trials that may qualify as the Trial of the Century. Do you think of the Scopes trial? O.J. Simpson? Jodi Arias?

Actually, the trial in question is the State v. Alexander Wolf. You may be unaware that the familiar fairy tale didn’t end the way we’ve always thought.HIS Mock Trials Group Photo 5-10-2013 In fact, the story continues with legal proceedings charging the accused Wolf with the murder of the Three Little Pigs. A. Wolf’s legal defense formulated an argument to convince the jury that Wolf is not guilty. Meanwhile, the pigs and other witnesses testified to the events surrounding and leading up to the crime in question. A jury of Wolf’s peers assessed the evidence presented to determine a verdict. On Friday, May 10, fourth grade students at the Henderson International School enacted a mock trial with the full court proceedings involved in trying an individual accused of murder.

This may sound like a storybook version of Law & Order. In some ways it is. Each year, the Henderson International School works in coordination with Judge Susan Johnson at the Regional Justice Center to provide hands-on courtroom experience. This is an excellent exercise teaching about the judicial process, allowing fourth grade students the opportunity to participate in a mock trial and work in an actual courtroom. The mock trial is part of an effort by the Eighth Judicial District Court in Courtroom 15D to raise awareness about the court system. It’s a great learning experience illustrating how the court system works, how to interact in the courtroom and the functionality of the third branch of government.

The verdict? The jury found the defendant, the Big Bad Wolf, guilty of murdering the Three Little Pigs. Will there be an appeal? We’ll have to wait until next year to find out.

Wisdom Begins in Wonder

May 7th, 2013

A sense of wonder is at the heart of what teacher Jill Brown develops at the Henderson International School.  In her words, she “eats, drinks and sleeps science.”  Though currently a lower school science teacher at HIS, Brown’s background is in social work, with a master’s degree in HIS Scienceelementary education and a minor in science.

Like so many in the Las Vegas Valley, Brown is a transplant from somewhere else.  In her case, she claims roots in New Orleans where she experienced the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.  What some might describe as a terrible tragedy, she chooses to focus on the incredible bonding that occurred when the community became a cohesive whole.  All the survivors became her extended family.  Her grandchild’s birth prompted her to uproot and start fresh in Las Vegas, where her enthusiasm inspires the students at Henderson International School every day.

Brown coordinates a very intense elementary science program offered at Henderson International School.  Students learn using a hands-on approach called scientific inquiry and are guided to keep and understand quantitative data collected during inquiry in their lab binders.  It’s easy to forget that her students are first to fourth graders since the subject matter she describes sounds college level.

The instruction covers earth, life, physical science and astronomy.  Students learn to use graduated cylinders, beakers and become familiarized with the Science International units of measure.  The elementary curriculum is coordinated with the middle school.  Brown describes this practice as very useful for students “to have a concrete mental idea of how each kind of science fits together.”

The curriculum allows her to teach at the surprisingly fast pace of the students, who are soaking up science knowledge like sponges.  Because of the flexibility of the program, Brown is able to let students move at their own accelerated pace.  They’ve advanced to cover topics like surface tension, plot averages, basic chemistry, viscosity and pH levels.

She loves the creativity involved and the fresh way that science requires her to see the world, with wonder and awe.  Brown enjoys explaining science in a way that young minds understand.  Working with the lower school students inspires her because they are free to accept information based on what they see and experience.

Brown’s goal with the curriculum is to encourage excitement about the world.  She loves that her students bring in bugs, spider webs and honeycombs as a result of their supportive classroom environment.  Her energy and enthusiasm has instilled a sense of wonder in their lives.

Michael Jordan said, “Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.” In that spirit, during the summer the Henderson International School hosts the HIS SRDCSummit Ridge Day Camp. This traditional day camp is a great way for kids to stay active, have an awesome time and build lifelong friendships.

The Summit Ridge Day Camp features all the activities you remember and love from your childhood, but with even more activities geared toward engaging your child’s imagination and fueling their spirit of wonder. The camp offers familiar activities like daily swimming, archery, woodworking and dodge ball. Some of the many things that make this camp really unique are offerings such as Wacky Science, movie making and karaoke. There are four different camps from which to choose: lower camp, upper camp, sports camp and early teen camp. Each camp is geared toward the interests and abilities of their appropriate age group.

Additionally, the Summit Ridge Day Camp has planned “Spirit Days,” “Pancake and Pajama Day,” and everyone’s favorite “Color War!” The campers start each day on the shaded playground and the counselors lead “Opening Circle” where everyone gets settled in and hears about the activities planned for the day. The camp experience ends each day with “Popsicle Time” and “Closing Circle,” where the whole camp comes together to celebrate birthdays, sing songs, play games and compete for the coveted “Spirit Stick.” In this way, the camp builds a cohesive community where all the campers feel part of the team, while building stronger relationships with their fellow campers and counselors.

The Summit Ridge Day Camp runs from June 10 through August 2 in four two-week sessions. The session dates are:

Session A: June 10 – June 21
Session B: June 24 – July 5 (no camp July 4)
Session C: July 8 – July 19
Session D: July 22 – August 2

The Summit Ridge Day Camp is a wonderful way to keep your kids actively engaged over the summer, while making learning exciting. You can see for yourself just how amazing this summer camp experience is by attending the Summit Ridge Day Camp Open House on Sunday, May 5 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on campus at the Henderson International School.

If you can’t make it to the open house, you can still get more information and register online at