Archive for October, 2013

The Significance of Nevada Day

October 31st, 2013

In 1863, the Nevada Territory began to push for statehood without authorization from Congress. Statehood was originally rejected in 1863 because the taxation of mines was too unfavorable to voters in the first draft of the constitution. A year 10.31.13_children_museumlater,

Congress rushed to make Nevada a state. In 1864, the nation was in the middle of the civil war and three major candidates were in the running for president. The fear that no party would receive majority of electoral votes was overwhelming and Congress found it necessary to admit another Republican state to the nation. A second draft of the constitution was written and approved by voters Sept. 7, 1964. The constitution was sent to Washington D.C., (the longest, most expensive telegraph ever sent up to that time) where President Lincoln declared Nevada a state on Oct. 31, 1864, making it the 36th state in the Union.

Until 2000, Nevada Day was always celebrated on Oct. 31. Nevada State Legislature passed a law that beginning in 2000, Nevada Day is to be celebrated the last Friday of the month in hopes that a three day weekend and not being associated with Halloween would draw more attention to Nevada’s history. This year, Nevada Day was observed on Oct. 25, followed by large celebrations and the annual Nevada Day parade at the state capitol, Carson City.

Besides sagebrush, big horn sheep and our battle born flag, what makes our silver state so interesting?

  • Nevada was the first state to ratify the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave African-American men the right to vote.
  • By the end of 1882, the Comstock Lode had produced more than $300 million in gold and silver. To this day, Nevada supplies three-quarters of all gold mined in the United States.
  • Area 51 was established by the CIA in 1955.
  • Nevada’s Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park contains the largest known Ichthyosaurus fossils ranging from 2 feet to 50 feet. The extinct reptiles swam in the ocean that would eventually become Nevada, 225 million years ago.
  • In Death Valley, the kangaroo rat lives its entire life without drinking a drop of water.
  • Nevada takes its name from a Spanish word meaning snow-clad.
  • The Hoover Dam contains enough concrete to pave a two-lane road from San Francisco to New York.


Forget the Tricks, Let’s Trunk for Treats on October 31 at 1 p.m. in the Courtyard


Halloween is a fun time of year! Costumes, pumpkin carvings, apple cider, parties, candy – who wouldn’t enjoy this time of year? Dating back almost 100 years, popular traditions have encouraged costumed children to travel from house-to-house asking for candy. Trick-or-treating is nothing new, but it’s important to think about the children’s safety during Halloween. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Trick-or-treat in groups, accompanied by a parent or guardian – kids should never go alone
  • Visit houses with porch lights on
  • Never enter a stranger’s home
  • Trick-or-treat in familiar neighborhoods
  • Wear costumes that are flame retardant and easily visible
  • Bring a flashlight
  • Parents should examine all candy before children consume it
  • Throw away any unwrapped or unmarked candy
  • Don’t eat homemade treats, unless you know the person who made it

In recent years, a new tradition has emerged, trunk-or-treating. Instead of walking door-to-door, communities gather in parking lots with decorated vehicles, costumes and of course, barrels of candy. Children can trunk-or-treat at all the cars with added supervision from participating adults. It’s a much safer environment for children to receive candy and it’s still fun! Some communities go all out and make it a festival, equipped with music, entertainment and occasionally even carnival rides.

Henderson International School will be hosting our very own trunk-or-treat celebration on October 31 at 1 p.m. in the Courtyard. Students must bring costumes to school (not worn to school), and no masks, fake weapons (or real weapons) or revealing costumes are allowed. This is sure to be a fun event and we can’t wait to see everyone there!


Principles of Mathematics at HIS

This is the final installment of the two-part conversation with Lower School Principal John Heffron and Curriculum Director Chris Bezsylko about the math curriculum and the new, primary resource in the lower school, Investigations in Numbers, Data, and Space.

This conversation was framed around the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Principles for School Mathematics: equity, curriculum, teaching, learning, assessment, and technology. Part I of this series focused on the first three principles, this final installment focuses on learning, assessment, and technology. (more…)

This is the first in a two-part conversation with Lower School Principal John Heffron and Curriculum Director Chris Bezsylko. Part II will be published in next week’s Friday Folder.

Mr. Heffron and Mr. Bezsylko got together recently to discuss the math curriculum and the new primary resource in the lower school, Investigations in Numbers, Data, and Space. The discussion was framed around the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Principles for School Mathematics. The Principles for School Mathematics describes a future in which all students have access to rigorous, high-quality mathematics instruction, knowledgeable teachers have support and ongoing access to professional development, the curriculum is mathematically rich, and students have access to technologies that broaden and deepen their understanding of mathematics.

The NCTM principles establish a foundation for school mathematics programs by considering the issues of equity, curriculum, teaching, learning, assessment, and technology. Part I of this two-part series focuses on the first three principles: equity curriculum, and teaching.


 Travel: Offering the Best Life Lessons for Our Children

As parents, the idea of our children taking trips anywhere can be scary and stressful. However, traveling at a young age can teach our children some of the most valuable skills that will benefit them in the future. These top five skills allow our children to grow into independent individuals with the confidence to make knowledgeable decisions throughout their lives:

Kids leaving school

1. Resourcefulness: Problems always arise while traveling, but if our children can recognize a problem and seek out different resources to solve the problem, they will have a more positive outcome. Learning to deal with difficult situations like geographic changes, language barriers and transportation complexities can help anyone grow into a resourceful adult.

2. Curiosity: The human tendency toward learning and curiosity is one of the characteristics that drives our need to experience new sights, smells and opportunities. Traveling encourages curiosity which in turn gives individuals new, exciting learning scenarios.

3. Adaptability: In a rapidly changing world, the ability to adapt to constant change is imperative for success. Traveling is one of the best situations to learn this life skill. Familiarity is not a guarantee when traveling; it encourages people to rethink and adapt to new surroundings.

4. Self-Confidence: The one life skill that sets people apart from ordinary and extraordinary. Individuals who have self-confidence are satisfied in who they are and what their abilities are. Traveling, learning about new places and cultures leads to confident young adults with high self-esteem.

5. Critical Thinking: Travel exposes children to new ways of living and thinking and enables them to think differently about different ways of life. Travel educates and inspires children to make knowledgeable decisions about their beliefs: lifestyles, politics religion, etc.

This Thursday, Oct. 10, the 4th grade class will be traveling to Northern Nevada to visit Carson City and Virginia City. Every child should have the opportunity to learn about their state’s history, and Carson City is the perfect place for our students to do so. The Nevada state capitol offers hands-on tours to children to learn about Nevada history, Native American history, and Nevada’s nature and fossils. Virginia City is a great town for children to learn about the Victorian era, the Old West, early 19th century living and the mining lifestyle that once made Nevada an extremely popular West Coast destination.

Be sure to talk to your children when they return from the fun-filled trip to learn some Nevada history for yourself!



This Saturday, on October 5, the world will join together to honor teachers on every corner of the earth in celebration of World Teachers’ Day. Since 1994, UNESCO has used this day to bring awareness and appreciation to teachers internationally.

Teachers are supportive partners in everyone’s journey of education and they play a huge role in our overall lives – they helped shape who our parents became, they influenced us as students in school and they make a large impression on our children every day.

Henderson International School is very fortunate to have some of the very best teachers in the Las Vegas Valley. Our highly qualified educators approach each subject of learning with expertise, excitement and a nurturing attitude that ensures each student not only grows, but thrives in their learning environment.

From everyone at Henderson International, we would like to thank all of our outstanding teachers for their dedication and passion, and for providing our students with the best education possible.