Hyattsville Elementary School has served the children of Hyattsville since 1917. Ms. Hontas M. Sturgis, principal from 1917 until 1934, saw a number of changes to the school including moving grades four to seven from Gallatin Street to a new building on 43rd Avenue. Now, the school houses Head Start, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and grades one to six. LCDs have replaced overhead projectors and DVDs have replaced filmstrip and 16 mm projectors. White boards with Bluetooth technology are in our classrooms to supplement blackboards and chalk. Computers and the internet have added depth and speed to research and information searches. Much has changed since 1917 but the needs of students remain the same. Then and now, the mission of Hyattsville Elementary School has been and continues to be teaching children the academic and social skills they need to become successful and responsible citizens in an ever-changing world.
Though today’s students have many technological resources available, books are still a primary source of information. The ability to read and a love of reading is a primary focus of our instructional program. Nearly half of the students at Hyattsville Elementary are learning English as a second language. English is a challenging language with many exceptions to spelling and pronunciation rules. This makes learning to read a major task for students who are learning English as a second language and even for those who speak English. The staff is working with parents, community members, and businesses to support students in their quest for reading excellence.
Math has been a relative strength of the students at Hyattsville Elementary. Math instruction is supported through computer software and web-sites such as First in Math and Knowledge Box as well as hands-on learning.
The school now sits in the midst of the Hyattsville Arts District. An apartment building for artists opened in the fall of 2008 adjacent to the school. One goal of the staff is to find ways to infuse art into the curriculum and to offer after-school activities in visual and performing arts and music. Research shows that art education enhances a child’s ability to be academically successful.
The vision of Hyattsville Elementary, synthesized from a long list generated by staff and parents, is to create a school where all stakeholders- students, staff, parents, community- work together in a spirit of mutual respect to inspire and motivate learning We want our school to be a place where Learning is Inviting, Open, Nurturing and Safe.