From kindergarten through fifth grade, we continually emphasize the importance of the IB-based theory of student-initiated actions; i.e., our students strive to apply what they have learned to community and global initiatives in order to make the world a better place. These ideas come from the students themselves, and our staff and school community do what they can to provide the appropriate support for these projects. These actions may be financially- and/or service-based.
Students in the 5th grade complete an Exhibition Project as the culmination of their IB Primary Years Programme (PYP). The PYP Exhibition represents a significant event in the life of a PYP school and student as it synthesizes the essential elements of the PYP and shares them with the whole school community. This experience is an opportunity for students to exhibit the values of the IB learner profile that they have been developing throughout their engagement with the PYP. The Exhibition unit takes place under any one of the six IB transdisciplinary program of inquiry units at the discretion of HDS. Students are required to engage in a collaborative, transdisciplinary inquiry process by identifying, investigating, and offering solutions to real-life issues or problems. The central idea must be of sufficient scope and significance to warrant a detailed investigation by all students. After the completion of their projects, students give presentations to all who attended the closing ceremony for the school. Subject areas have included topics like house fires, bullying, natural disasters, deforestation, homelessness, and veterans affairs.