Students at Landaff’s Blue School create new sign

May 22, 2019

LANDAFF – Stepping into the Blue School in Landaff is a bit like stepping back in time. The one-room schoolhouse, which was built in 1858, is now one of only two functioning one-room schoolhouses left in the state of New Hampshire. Today, it serves fifteen students from kindergarten to third grade and twenty-four pre-school children. The students are now creating a community sign, which will be installed outside the historic school on Mill Brook Road in Landaff.

In a partnership with the Tarleton Castle Arts Center (TCA) in Bath and the Littleton Studio School in Littleton, the Blue School children spent the afternoon of Monday, May 13 handcrafting twenty-one clay tiles measuring seven inches square and a half-inch deep. It was the first of three workshop sessions that will be held at the Blue School.

In the second community sign workshop, which will occur before the end of the school year, the students will glaze their artwork. The final workshop will see them assisting with the construction of the Blue School’s new community sign in the fall. Yarosh says the goal is to have the sign completed and installed by September 2019.

Project materials, including clay and glazes, have been donated by Tarleton Castle, while the Littleton Studio Studio School has generously donated the use of their kilns to fire the clay tiles. The series of three workshops are being led by Tarleton Castle Arts Executive Director, Tim Dailey, and school board member, Cecily Yarosh. According to Yarosh, outreach will being over the next few months to secure the donation of sign construction materials from local businesses.

This is not the first community partnership program that has been introduced to the children at the Blue School. According to Teaching Principal Molly Culver, the school received funds from a Title IV-A grant this year which has allowed them to collaborate with WMSI (White Mountain Science Institute) to develop unique science and computer lessons.

Through the WMSI program, all Landaff students have learned to collect data and make observations, analyze and organize data and use multiple means for communicating a summary of their observations. The students have spent time outside observing and collecting weather and climate data with WMSI instructors. Together, the students used the data to introduce many engineering and scientific inquiry lessons, including coding.

With WMSI, the Blue School students have learned to input that data into a computer to generate a computer-assisted, animated story. The children have coded stories through this process, and the digital stories have become part of their educational assessment. Students have shared their creations and have demonstrated multiple methods to organize and communicate data.

According to Culver, the students now have a solid understanding of the role of data and how to collect and interpret it. WMSI and the Blue School will be hosting a Computer Science Night on May 29 from 6 to 7 p.m. The night will showcase the students’ work in computer science and allow parents and families to see what they have been learning.

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