In this fifth installment of the Spotlight on Schools series, we shine some light on the magic that’s happening at Cheverly’s Gladys Noon Spellman Elementary School (GNS)! Read on to learn about GNS, its involvement in the local community & what it does to ensure its students are “respectful, responsible and ready to learn.” Insight and information proudly shared by local parent, Kelly Brewington!
|Tile Art Project created by GNS students in collaboration with Art Works Now|
Grades Pre-K – 6th
By: Kelly Brewington
GNS PTA VP & Mom to a First-grader
It’s known that a leader sets the tone for an entire community and there is no better example of strong leadership than Spellman Principal Ms. Brandi Smith. Since arriving at Spellman two years ago, the dynamic Ms. Smith has taken the school to new heights, setting high expectations of excellence while continuing to foster the caring community that Spellman has been for years. Spellman’s strong teaching staff and nurturing community continues to thrive under her leadership.
What People May Not Know About Spellman:
Spellman families come from more than 23 countries and speak more than 15 languages from Spanish and Arabic to French and Pashto! Our diverse, international student body is a huge source of pride. As a result, our school is a warm, accepting place with thriving students and caring teachers. Here, diversity and inclusion are core values that are embraced and celebrated across the school.
Spellman staff does a great job of embodying the school motto: “Spellman Bears are respectful, responsible and ready to learn.” Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports school-wide events are planned throughout the year. For example, “Spellman Specials” held in the fall allowed students the opportunity to pick from a wide variety of clubs ranging from drama, art, and coding. All clubs were facilitated and implemented by GNS teachers.
Folks are Buzzing About:
Spellman has been recognized for its healthy school environment. We’re a Maryland Green School and recently received a USDA award for prioritizing health and nutrition schoolwide. Just last year, we won a competitive grant from nonprofit Real School Gardens to build an outdoor learning garden where our students will receive hands-on lessons in science, math and language.
|Mr. Pate and Principal Smith accepting USDA
Healthier US School award from Dr. Maxwell
In addition to a competitive science bowl team, enrichment classes include after school robotics, step team, theater, music, dance (taught by instructors at Joe’s Movement Emporium), fitness and on-site before/after care. This year, the PTA partnered with Elizabeth Seton High School, whose seniors offer free weekly tutoring to Spellman primary grade students.
Lastly, the PTA and Cheverly residents began a huge effort to support our newest arrivals — refugee students from Syria and Afghanistan. Thanks to the generosity of Cheverly residents, these families have received free tutoring, clothing and furniture and have taken part in a neighborhood-led “Host a Family” program where new families are matched with existing ones to ease the adjustment and form new friendships.
Spellman has the Best Events!
A few of our favorites include: Bike to school days in the fall and spring, the PTA’s annual Monster Mash Halloween Dance and the Cheverly Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk– a neighborhood fundraiser that supports the school. And we love Spellman’s Skate Night, performances from our new theater club, The Grizzly Players, the amazing food and music on International Night and the fun games on Field Day, always an end-of-year favorite for our students.
|Annual International Celebration||Monster Mash Party!||Field Day!|
|Cheverly’s Annual Turkey Trot! This year $2,000 of the proceeds given to GNS PTA!|
Want to check out the school for yourself? Head to one (or both!) of these upcoming events: (Prospective families may also schedule a tour by emailing spellmanPTA@gmail.com)
- Friday, April 10th from 7:00pm-8:00PM: Summer Camp Fair, Gladys Noon Spellman Multipurpose Room. Check out the tables and displays from more than a dozen summer camps from throughout the DC area: art, sports, music, STEM and good old fashioned outdoor fun, there will be something for everyone!
- Friday, May 12th from 6:30pm – 8:30pm: The Spellman PTA ZUMBATHON® to benefit the REAL School Garden Project at Gladys Noon Spellman Elementary School. No previous experience with Zumba or dance (or exercise) is required…just be prepared to move and have fun! Register at www.spellmanpta.org
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