• It’s called the extra degree.

    Over the summer, Principal Betsy Bell discovered a motivational book that highlights the difference between 211 and 212 degrees. At 212 degrees, water goes from hot to boiling. 212 degrees, or the extra degree, has become our motto here at “The Bend.” Here is a snapshot of what 212 degrees looks like at Cherokee Bend Elementary School.

    We are located in a neighborhood where many children walk or ride their bikes with friends to and from school. A well-manicured landscape greets students and visitors. Situated amongst the colorful trees is a state-of-the-art ropes course that is used for the school’s team-building adventure curriculum. Upon entering the front doors, one finds framed student artwork showcased throughout the brightly colored foyer. The pristine building is maintained by a dedicated custodial staff who are often seen high-fiving the students in the halls.

    The classrooms have their own unique characteristics and are led by highly-qualified teachers. Our personnel includes thirty-one classroom teachers, administrators, media specialists, a technology coordinator, a counselor, art, music, and Spanish specialists, an adventure curriculum advisor, a reading coach, physical education coaches, academic interventionist, cafeteria staff, a registered nurse, gifted, and special education teachers. These 212 degree teachers can be seen recording podcasts for students, dropping pumpkins from the roof for a physics demonstration, coaching Scholars' Bowl, sponsoring a student-led environmental team, facilitating publication of the school newspaper, rolling dice for a math lesson, and reading picture books with students gathered around. We all work collaboratively to provide effective, challenging, and engaging instruction.

    Our 531 students in kindergarten through sixth grade come from families who value education. With a large percentage of college-educated parents, expectations for student achievement are high. These students can be seen anchoring and producing the weekly broadcast, climbing on the wall of the ropes course, greeting visitors as ambassadors for the school, using student response systems to answer questions, participating in class discussions, publishing authentic writing, researching topics of interest, creating Web pages, reading in small groups, playing hands-on math games, and rocketing down the slides at recess. Our students are seen doing all of these activities while exhibiting Cherokee Bend’s three core values: be safe, do your best, and value yourself and others.

    We are writers, readers, mathematicians, actors, singers, athletes, thinkers, competitors, problem-solvers, creators. We are a family. We are boiling at 212 degrees. Life is good at “The Bend!”