Annual Giving

Corbett Preparatory School of IDS WOWs
on First Day of School

PreK3-8th grade participated in WOW activities, a tradition that lets teachers showcase how they merge brain-based research with creativity and fun.

Aug. 21, 2013 (TAMPA, FL) – Corbett Preparatory School of IDS first and second grade “Mighty Monkeys” watched in amazement as rockets carried to the sky goals they had set for the new school year.

“Be caring,” “be a risk-taker,” “be a helper” and “be prepared by doing schoolwork” were among the many objectives the children had drawn on slips of paper, which they then rolled up and tucked into one of three rockets.

Middle school teacher Tom Bronson helps a student send his mission-filled rocket to the sky.

Middle school teacher Tom Bronson helps a student send his mission-filled rocket to the sky.

Everyone counted down together, and the rockets sizzled and launched skyward before fluttering down with mini-parachutes. Like the rockets, teachers said, the children would learn to go sky high in the 2013-14 school year.

The rockets represented one of many WOW moments marking the first day of school at Corbett Prep. Classes from PreK3-8th grade participated in WOW activities, a tradition that lets teachers showcase how they merge brain-based research with creativity and fun. Corbett Prep teachers benefit from ongoing training to help them develop lesson plans and activities to encourage every learner’s gifts and talents.

Middle school students prepare to take on the world in their studies.

Middle school students prepare to take on the world in their studies.

The results? On the east and west sides of campus, children were actively engaged in learning and sharing inspiring ideas. Many students worked in teams, whether they had known each other for years or just met, and laughed, smiled and gasped over the surprises teachers had in store.

The youngest students, the PreK3 class, planted flowers as a lesson in how people and flowers grow. Across the street, the sixth, seventh and eighth graders joined in the middle school scavenger hunt. The middle school students had read Wonder by R.J. Palacio during the summer and participated in activities based on the book’s message: “When you have a choice, choose KIND.”

The “Brilliant Bugs” shared wishes with butterflies before releasing them.

The “Brilliant Bugs” shared wishes with butterflies before releasing them.

Other WOW activities included fifth grade MISSION POSSIBLE. Showing their solidarity boot-camp style in camouflage hats, the students explored strategies for success in the coming school year. The multiage third and fourth grade “All Stars” created a recipe for a “friendship pie,” listing the ingredients included in a good friendship, capping off their lesson with a snack of apple pie. In third grade, the “Navigators” honed cooperation skills as they worked in pairs to build foil boats and see how many pennies their creations could hold.

All the lessons were designed with the goal of having students recognize the value of individual work as well as teamwork. It was the beginning of a new year and personal growth opportunities were in abundance.

The first and second grade “Brilliant Bugs” whispered their wishes for the school year to butterflies before the insects fluttered away into the trees and clouds. One butterfly the children nicknamed Hank refused to go, choosing instead to land on a teacher’s hand. Headmaster Dr. Joyce Burick Swarzman urged the students to ask Hank to carry additional wishes for them. Her hope for the year, she said, was for children and teachers to “always have success, joy, happiness and to work hard, with lots of love.”


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Founded in 1968, Corbett Preparatory School of IDS (formerly Independent Day School - Corbett Campus) is a fully accredited, nonsectarian private school located in Tampa’s Carrollwood neighborhood. The school serves over 500 students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade and offers the International Baccalaureate program of study for all students. Teachers are endorsed in gifted education through a master’s level grant with the University of South Florida College of Education. Corbett Prep balances a dynamic, nurturing and safe learning environment with high standards and high expectations to develop a positive approach to life and learning. Corbett Prep has become recognized as an exemplary school with over 7,000 visitors observing and learning from Corbett Prep teachers. For more information, visit www.corbettprep.com or contact the Admissions Office at (813) 961-3087.