Bonny Slope Elementary School
At Bonny Slope Elementary School, art is everywhere you turn. Tiles of the faces of the school's first students hang on the walls in the foyer. Colorful mosaics shaped like a rose, fish and stars float above the hallway outside the main office. An apple, a house and other images are carved into the red handrails of the school's staircases. Giant black and white photos of past students hang in the cafeteria and library. Most of these projects were done by artists in residence.
Bonny Slope is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School and follows the Primary Years Programme (PYP). The program challenges students with inquiry-based learning, empowering them to be lifelong learners and global thinkers. On a hallway outside of the cafeteria, is what Principal Janet Maza describes as "our heart." It outlines the "Programme of Inquiry" for each grade level. "Students are taught from the beginning, if you learn something, you are responsible for that knowledge and what you do with it," says Maza, "In the 5th grade, students are expected to apply all they've learned to a project that would change their world."
This is Maza's first year as principal at Bonny Slope. She says one of her favorite things is the outstanding teaching ability of her staff, "I know what good teaching looks like. "Maza also says her school benefits from incredible community support. Last year, nearly 100% of all parents volunteered at least one hour at the school. "Our parent group is very active. They do more in this school than I've ever seen before," says Maza.
This year, Bonny Slope has grown to nearly 700 students. That's a long way from the first Bonny Slope school, which opened in 1890 with about 20 students. A new schoolhouse was built in 1937 and closed in 1977. The current school opened in 2008.