• How is Enders Open Magnet different from other schools?
     
    As an elementary school in the Wichita district we are responsible for teaching our students the same curriculum and meeting the Kansas guidelines as other schools in the district and state of Kansas. Where we differ is in the extra activities that support our open philosophy that are incorporated into everything that we do. These include: creating a sense of community, service learning, community service, inquiry learning and inquiry projects and community responsibility all of these, we believe support the development of our future citizens.
     
    Creating a Sense of Community-Students
    Throughout the school year students participate in cross grade level community activities. Not only do they have the opportunity to work with students in other grades but they also build relationships with other grade level teachers and can keep the connections they had with their previous teachers.                       
    ·         Fall Festival
    Students choose two sessions to attend. Each session is literature based and includes an activity based on the book read. Teachers incorporate their own session into their language arts block. The sessions are multi aged, this gives the students an opportunity to expand their school community and get to know other teachers and students.
    ·         Holidays Around The World Festival
    Students choose two sessions to attend. Each session is based on a celebration in another country and includes an activity based on their celebration. Teachers incorporate their own session into their language arts block. The sessions are multi aged, this gives the students an opportunity to expand their school community, get to know other teachers and students and learn about other countries.
    ·         Friendship Festival
    Students choose two sessions to attend. Each session is literature based and includes an activity based on the book read. Teachers incorporate their own session into their language arts block. The sessions are multi aged, this gives the students an opportunity to expand their school community, get to know other teachers and students and learn about being a friend.
    ·         Kansas Day Festival
    Students choose two sessions to attend. Each session is based on some Kansas fact and includes an activity based on that fact. Teachers incorporate their own session into their language arts block. The sessions are multi aged, this gives the students an opportunity to expand their school community, get to know other teachers and students and learn Kansas facts.
    ·         Earth Day Festival
    Students choose two sessions to attend. Each session includes an activity and facts on how we can protect and save our earth. Teachers incorporate their own session into their language arts block. The sessions are multi aged, this gives the students an opportunity to expand their school community, get to know other teachers and students and learn how they can help our planet.
     
    Creating a Sense of Community-Families
    Nurturing a sense of community within our families is very importation to our school. Two of our main family activities are Enders Feast and Story Telling Festival. Along with these two events the Enders Family Engagement Team plans activities throughout the year such as Movie Night, Dining with Dudes, Muffins with Mom and Grandparents Day.
    ·         Enders Feast
    Enders families come to enjoy a feast prepared by students, staff and parents. Third through fifth graders make stone soup and kindergarteners through second graders make friendship fruit salad. Our teachers make the pumpkin fluff dessert and parents make corn bread muffins. We all sit together at table decorated with placemats made by our students. Each grade level performs a skit, song or dance after the feast. In November 2012, our first feast with our new families we served over 800 meals.
    ·         Story Telling Festival
    Enders families are invited to attend an evening of community building and sharing their love of reading and storytelling. Families enjoy a cookout in one of our outside community areas and share books with one another. A story teller from Arts Partners gives families a presentation. It is a kick off for Enders reading programs.
    Service Learning
    Service-Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.
    Through service-learning, young people—from kindergarteners to fifth grade use what they learn in the classroom to solve real-life problems. They not only learn the practical applications of their studies, they become actively contributing citizens and community members through the service they perform.
     
    Community Service
    Each grade level team decides which community service project they will support during the school year. The Enders community has contributed to the following programs:
    Kansas Food Bank, United Way, Kansas Humane Society, Ronald McDonald House, school food pantry and angel tree, coat closet, homeless hygiene kits.
     
    Inquiry Learning and Inquiry Projects
    Inquiry-based learning describes approaches to learning that are based on the investigation of questions, scenarios or problems. In 2012 all teachers had training in the inquiry approach to teaching. High level thinking questions are incorporated into daily lessons. This approach encourages students to be thinkers. At least once each year students will create their own inquiry projects that will be displayed at their grade level programs. Students will share their projects with guests who attend the programs.
     
    Community Responsibility
    Being a community member also includes serving your community and exercising your right to vote. At Enders we strive to instill in our students the importance that their vote and voice can have in a community. This is achieved through our school wide election held each year.
    ·         Enders House of Representatives
    Students in first through fifth grade can enter the election process to be a member of the Enders House of representatives. Primary elections are held in their classroom after candidates give a speech which includes what type of community service they will be doing throughout the year. Winners of the primary election give a speech during community time to the entire student body. A general election is held on Election Day in November. Students must be registered to vote and sign in just like at a real election.  Winners celebrate at an Inaugural Ball in January and meet bimonthly with the principal. They represent the classroom through the year and they serve in a variety of ways throughout their term. In May the representatives give a presentation on what their community serve project was and how they help their community.