Building Better Minds


How Hanover turned the last week of school from boring to buzz worthy

Posted at 6:00 AM, Jul 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 15:13:32-04

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- For some teachers and students at Patrick Henry High School in Hanover, the final week of school involved final tests and squeezing in the last credits. It's hard to know who was looking forward to summer more, the students or the teachers.

"I think it's the teachers,” senior teacher Stefanie Ells said with a laugh.

For many others, it was just biding their time through the week -- the long, boring week, waiting for the final bell. But some classrooms were all fun and games.

Students could sign up to learn and play board games they’ve never seen.

"They have the opportunity to explore and learn something that they maybe never have discovered before," Ms. Ells said.

Stefanie Ells

In another class, it's using what they learned about Hawaii to navigate an escape room.

"Re-imagining the end of the school year" started as a district initiative in Hanover last year. Teachers fished for ideas on how to keep students engaged and learning. Ian Horwitz’ week-long class involved casting in a field.

“It's fly fishing 101," Horwitz said. "I work at Orvis at Short Pump Mall. We teach fly fishing classes there, so I thought this is a great way to teach the kids how to have some fun in the outdoors.  It's a lot better than sitting in (a classroom)."

"We have teachers that were sharing their outside experience; their pottery, their art, things that they have as a passion outside of school," Ells said.

Building Better Minds with Rob Cardwell airs Wednesday on CBS 6.