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Lacy gives students a "passport" to the future

Caitlyn Cooper

The students at Lacy Elementary have a bright future, and the teachers and staff want to show them all the doors being opened because of their education. That’s why the theme adopted for this school year is, “Passport to the Future: learning will take you places in life.”

Lacy Principal Thomas Osburn believes a theme for a school year is important.

“One of the chief goals of a campus theme is to open student minds to possibilities,” Mr. Osburn said. “We want the theme to encourage the personal and academic growth of our students.”

Ms. Quintana with her bilingual students.

Mr. Osburn said planning for the theme begins before the previous school year is out.

“The staff seems to enjoy it, because before school is out, they start asking me what the theme will be so they can start planning bulletin boards, classroom decorations. Students really enjoy the different perspectives and décor,” he said. Each spring I start thinking, and with the help of some of the office staff, we decide on the theme for the next school year. Passport made sense because I enjoy traveling, and we want to expand students' horizons.”

According to Mr. Osburn, a cohesive theme allows students to hear a constant message that connects all the subjects, and with staff it offers a team building message and creates staff unity.

Rhonda Jones and Brooke Davis show "education is the passport to your future."

“A theme encourages creativity as staff incorporates the theme in diverse ways,” he said. “It also provides a fun way to unite students of different grade levels and opens up different perspectives for students.”

You can see the theme all over campus as everyone has worked together to find ways to use “Passport to the Future.”

Everyone at Lacy has a passport shirt, and they all wear it on the same day each month, and Mr. Osburn encourages them to be creative on that day to support the theme.

Natasha Gallegos shows her passport.

“On Passport Day, they may spend as much or as little time on it as they see appropriate as long as they mention whatever country we have highlighted for that day,” he said. “But no matter what, I want to encourage students with the fact that learning will take them places in life.”

The theme is incorporated into several aspects of daily education this year, including the bulletin boards along the hallways. They currently depict where the staff is from, as well as where they have visited.

Victoria Garcia shows her hometown on the map.

“Students in 3rd through 5th grades have a passport book, and they can earn stickers in a variety of ways,” Mr. Osburn said. “Once they earn so many, they get to ‘travel’ to the library for extra time, computer lab for extra time or have lunch with principal. We are planning some other days to highlight international foods and geography.”

Selby Bagale, a 5th-grade teacher at Lacy, took her reading students on a virtual field trip.

“We visited Pakistan,” Mrs. Bagale said. “Mr. Osburn decides which country we will focus on each month. My students learned about the population and Pakistan’s major export, as well as seeing the country’s flags.”

Lacy students read about Ireland.

About the photos:

Teacher Caitlyn Cooper points out Prague on the map as a place she has visited.

Bilingual students in Ana Quintana’s 2nd-grade class, from left, Nicole Cabrera, Cecilia Perez, Omar Landa, Ricardo Salcedo and Esmerelda Cabrera are “future world changers.”

3rd-grade teachers Rhonda Jones and Brooke Davis show off their passports and the bulletin board outside their rooms.

Natasha Gallegos, a 3rd-grader in Rhonda Jones’ class, has started filling out her Lacy passport.

Lacy Computer teacher Victoria Garcia points to McKinney on the hallway map to show where she is from.

Ashley Cruz and Kadeem Fleming read about Ireland.

Lacy 5th-graders Ashley Cruz, Kadeem Fleming and Christelle Enoh read Brenda Obera's new post about Ireland for her passport to the world trivia game as students visit the library.

Branson Crutchfield selects LSU as his college of choice during a recent college/career day passport assignment showing where students want to go after their Princeton education.

 lacy signs