Archive for the ‘School Trips’ Category

Our 4th grade students capped off their fun year of engaging field trips with a bus ride to the Techatticup Mine at Eldorado Canyon, near the state border with Arizona.  This famous gold mine is the oldest and richest in Southern Nevada. (more…)

Living History Museum

February 24th, 2016

4th grade students are working hard in preparation for their Living History Museum, next Friday, March 4th. Aligned to our Social Studies, Writing, and Reading standards, they each have been researching a famous American, including many Nevadans, and are creating a performance, a visual, and a technology presentation for the Museum. (more…)

One heck of a dam adventure

February 11th, 2016

This past Monday morning, the 4th grade students set out on their annual adventure to the Hoover Dam. It was a wonderful field trip. We were lucky to get great weather and the students learned a lot about the history and construction of the dam. The tour started with a video explaining how the dam was built. The construction started in 1931 and took less than five years to complete. The work never stopped – it took nearly 60,000 people working in shifts around the clock. Most of the workers lived in Boulder City, a town built to house the workers. They had two days off each year: Christmas Day and the 4th of July.   (more…)

Our first trimester has been wonderful! We started with the strongest results from last year’s Educational Record Bureau (ERB) tests, and have already built upon that success across the grades. Strong teaching leads to solid learning, and I thank our teachers for all of their work to design and implement personalized learning plans while achieving excellent results. Success of the last trimester are below:

First trimester measures of success

We started the year with some impressive results from the spring ERB tests on which 73% of students in grades 3-8 scored 90% or better on at least one subtest of this assessment, qualifying them for consideration by The Center for Bright Kids’ Western Academic Talent Search (WATS). Henderson International School is in process of becoming a testing site for the region. More on this soon, but we are targeting the test dates in January and February. Taking the Explore, SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), or ACT (American College Testing) at a young age prepares exceptional students to be challenged above the confines of grade level assessments, letting them know about challenges above and beyond.

Grades 5 and 6 attended Astrocamp in Idyllwild, CA and grades 7 and 8 went to Pali Adventures in Running Springs, CA.  These annual outdoor education experiences, which rotate among several venues, provide exceptional opportunities for class bonding, off campus study with different instructors than our faculty, and a trip away from the comforts of home. It provides the opportunity to develop independence and personal responsibility, which are necessary to expand executive functioning during late childhood and early adolescence. Within our Mission of developing Global Citizens finding personal confidence and appreciation for our opportunities and obligations seems an obvious rationale.

We have experienced several on-campus “field trips” and science explorations in Early Childhood classes, including parents sharing their international connections with our young Wolverines.  This term the 4th graders traveled to Carson City and Virginia City for their on site study of the Capital Region of Nevada – an experience many adults have not had.

Our Learning Commons is now complete. The transition from a secondary school library to a primary school learning commons is noticeable in the appropriately sized shelving units, color scheme, updated technology, and comfortable seating. During this process many older volumes were donated to local Title I schools and organizations, along with the former furnishings. Our goal has been to help others at each step of the transformation!

Pumpkin plants are growing in the Elementary School garden and we are planning for our Henderson Arbor Day and second annual Earth Day celebrations in April.

We are delighted that 3D printers are in use, as is our Maker Space for learning how things work. Students are designing and printing on the two PTA sponsored 3D printers.


Grade 7 and 8 created a magnificent recycled art project that will be on display at The Palazzo, and we are entered into the statewide art competition.

Grade 4 has completed their first arts rotation among Musical Theatre, Band, and Visual Art.  This rotation exposes each child to all three programs over the final year of lower school, and in 5th grade they will choose one area of art study for the year. Performance season is upon us, and the children have been vigorous in their rehearsals to make wonderful music and perform in public.

Our kindergarten has been working on their Thanksgiving show that will debut on Friday, November 20.

Student artwork has been on display at the Henderson Pavilion on several occasions this first trimester.

In our first trimester bridge building elective, the lightest design carried over 200 times it’s weight before breaking. These engineering design projects had to be no more than 500 grams, and were created entirely from popsicle sticks and glue.  The held weight of 113 pounds more than doubled last year’s most sturdy design.


Preparations are complete for the Meritas Games competition in Orlando, Florida, which will take place the week after Thanksgiving. The largest contingent of student-athletes will compete this year, 62 strong! A new individual sport has been added – Archery. Several of our middle school overnight trips have included archery, scouts have studied archery for their merit badge, and a few students regularly shoot at archery ranges. We are very excited about this addition!

And so to basketball! The Findlay Prep team defeated the 2015 Jr. College National Champions in Arizona. This was a preseason game. The athletes have started the regular season off well winning the first two games by double the opponent’s score. NCAA College team commitments: Carlos Johnson – UNLV Rebels, Skylar Mays – Lousiana State Univ. Tigers and Tristan Clark – Baylor Univ. Bears.

Our 7th grade flag football team earned their stripes in the 11-12 year old league played on Saturdays at Frias Field in Las Vegas. Thank you to their dedication in making the season happen!

Grade 5/6 volleyball played well all season, and grade 7/8 volleyball earned a spot in the post-season tournament. Our grade 5/6 flag football also earned 2nd place in the league. Congratulations to everyone! During trimester one, we also hosted our first cross-country race on campus, receiving rave reviews about our campus and the organization!

We hosted our Henderson International School Triathlon, thanks to organization by the PTA and Mr. Mike Chinn. We also hosted our annual Autumn Fun Run with varying distances based on grade level.


While standardized testing is only one metric of many we use to personalize academic progress, it is a reality that taking tests is something that our generation of students will be doing for most, if not all, of their academic and professional careers. In addition to starting the year with strong ERB results from the spring we have additional strong indicators about our curricula and programs:

 Initial writing assessment (WrAP test) results in grades 3-8 were very strong relative to Independent School norms (the strongest comparison/competition across the country). While we have a range of abilities demonstrated, the strong majority are in the middle to top Stanines, with over half of each MS grade in the top half of the top 2% of the country! Students will take these again in late winter at which time we look for improvements and also have time for further growth prior to the end of the year.

Elementary grades on the CPAA:

  • In the area of Phonemic Awareness, 42% of Kinder students met or exceeded expectations back in late August. Now, by the end of Trimester 1, 81% of students meet or exceedThe number who exceeded expectations has risen from 28% in August to 67% now.
  • In the area of Phonics/Writing, 42% of Kinder students met or exceeded expectations back in August. Now, that number is at 78%. Those who exceed has risen from 22% to 47%.
  • In the area of Reading, 64% met or exceeded back in September. Now that number is at 81%. Those exceeding has risen from 8% to 39%.
  • In the area of Phonemic Awareness, 80% of 1st grade students met or exceeded expectations back in late August. Now, by the end of Trimester 1, 91% of students meet or exceedThe number who exceeded expectations has risen from 23% in August to 43% now.
  • In the area of Phonics/Writing, 77% of 1st grade students met or exceeded expectations back in late August. Now that number is at 95%. Those who exceed has risen from 34% to 50%.
  • In the area of Reading, 77% met or exceeded back in September. Now that number is at 95%. Those exceeding has risen from 18% to 43%.
  • In the area of Phonics/Writing, 70% of 2nd grade students met or exceeded expectations back in late August. Now, by the end of Trimester 1, 84% of students meet or exceedThe number who exceeded expectations has risen from 24% in August to 43% now.
  • In the area of Reading Mechanics, 60% of 2nd grade students met or exceeded expectations back in August. Now that number is at 67%. Those who exceed has risen from 30% to 51%.
  • In the area of Reading, 67% met or exceeded back in August. Now that number is at 84%. Those exceeding has risen from 16% to 38%.

This has been a remarkable first trimester, and we look ahead to the following months, where more great progress and activities is expected.


Third Grade Trip to the Apple Store

Each year the third grade students read the novel Poppy by Avi. It is the second book in the Dimwood Forest series and is always a class favorite! After reading the book, this year we did something different. The students were put into collaborative groups, each creating a movie trailer as if the movie “Poppy” was coming out. First, each group had to think about the important events that took place in the story and the sequence in which they happened. The students had to work together with their groups and agree upon the scenes that they wanted to film. After several skit rehearsals in the classroom, the groups were ready to go outside to film. Using student made props, the groups acted out and filmed their scenes. Next, we watched the clips to see how they came out. The actors, actresses, and camera people were given constructive criticism by the class and went out to film again the next day. This process was repeated a few times before going to the Apple Store on October 27 to turn our movie clips into movie trailers using the app iMovie. At the Apple Store, the students were taught by the Apple geniuses how to use iMovie and turn their scenes into an edited trailer. The trailers were almost complete when we left, but many students wanted to refine their work at school. Finally, on Friday, November 6th, the third grade students, teachers, Mr. Lindsey, and Mr. Heffron assembled in the Learning Lab for a Movie Trailer Premiere. The students and teachers voted for their favorite two trailers. The top two student choices and the top teacher choices are can be seen by 3rd grade families – go to your grade-level Site, then to the Photos tab.

Lots of learning took place throughout this project. After the reading of the book, the students learned by coming up with the most important events in the story and recognizing what the differences were between the main events and the more minor details. They learned that the main events take place in a logical sequence, which will help them when they are trying to sequence events in their own creative writing. They certainly learned about character traits because these characters were very strong and dynamic. They learned how to work collaboratively in a group, realizing that this requires compromise. Students learned how to receive constructive criticism and how it is useful for improvement. Boy, did they learn about persistence! Some of those scenes needed to be shot over and over, and moving the clips into iMovie and getting just the right words to go with the scenes was hard work! Overall, it was an enjoyable, productive learning experience, aligning well with our Reading and Writing standards, plus technology integration and teamwork!

-Molly Heenan, 3rd grade teacher

The field trip to Apple

April 24th, 2015

Last week, 3rd graders traveled to the Apple store in Town Square Las Vegas to meet with the Genius Team for a much sought-after Apple field trip experience.  HIS was one of the only schools in Las Vegas to be awarded this opportunity this school year and the students loved it! (more…)

20140429_122553_resizedHi, my name is Charles. I am 9 years old and I am in the 4th grade class at Henderson International.

Every year the 4th grade participates in a major event called the mock trial. There are currently no other 4th grade classes in our district that participate. The mock trial is now a tradition at our school. (more…)

Middle Schoolers at AstroCamp

September 7th, 2012

Henderson International middle schoolers spent the past three days at AstroCamp learning about physical science, astronomy and space exploration.

The kids traveled to the San Jacinto Mountains in Idyllwild, California on Wednesday where they enjoyed classes on astronomy and rocketry, as well as “Mission to Mars” adventures.

AstroCamp is one of the highlights of the year for fifth- to eight-graders at Henderson International.


The kids waiting for the zip line!


Fun on the Sky Coaster!