Dryden Elementary School is a place for learning, a place for friendship, a place for community and a place for our students to discover their passions. ALL are welcome at Dryden! At Dryden, we believe in empowering our students to learn. Our students are given the support needed to take ownership of their education and explore their curiosities within the parameters of a rigorous curriculum. Students and staff are encouraged to explore beyond our classroom walls - within our community and at a global level. What are we doing to help make the world a better place? This question is something we often reflect on as we learn and grow in our empathy and global perspective. We have so much pride, here, at Dryden. We have pride in our learning, pride in ourselves, pride in our relationships and pride in our community. #DrydenRocks and we believe it! Enjoy this page as it gives a great snapshot of who we are at Dryden. If you have any feedback, comments or questions, don't hesitate to contact us!
Empowered to Learn
At Dryden, we believe an empowered learner is a confident, caring and courageous learner. Empowered learners embrace meaningful challenges and complex problems. They ask thoughtful questions, give and receive constructive feedback, reflect deeply, and effectively collaborate with one another as they iterate through the learning process. "Empowered to learn" means that learners have a deep sense of purpose for their learning and that they are equipped with skills and strategies to be self-directed and self-managed as they learn. We ultimately want our students to own what they are learning, how they are learning, and why they are learning it. Therefore, students are provided many opportunities to identify meaningful, relevant questions and problems; and then, they are provided the time and space to investigate, discover, collaborate and creatively share answers and solutions.
Our learning environment allows students to playfully explore areas of interest that are meaningful and important to them. We use students' interests and passions as springboards for deeper learning within our curriculum. This is because we know that learners are intrinsically motivated to work hard at things that they enjoy and find meaningful. We aim to provide rigorous learning opportunities that maximize the power of play. We approach learning with a playful spirit because not only does it make learning fun, it also enhances passion, purpose, retention and further growth!
Dryden was one of six schools selected to be spotlighted at the
Successful Schools Showcase at the 2019 ASCD International Conference
in Chicago this spring, based on our "empowered to learn" mission and vision.
Reflective and Global Thinkers
We help Dryden students identify and celebrate their unique strengths and accomplishments as well as areas in which they would like to improve. Every student in our school sets individualized goals for themselves. Their personal goals become a meaningful tool for reflection, motivation, and self-monitoring for growth. Throughout the year, teachers frequently confer with students to support individualized learning and progress towards their goals. Prior to each parent-teacher conference, students reflect on and update personalized goals with input from their parents and teachers. We remain committed to continuous improvement as students review and revise their goals with teacher and parent input throughout the year.
Furthermore, we encourage our students to be reflective outside of themselves. Interactive student discussions are frequently facilitated in order to strengthen friendships and community comprised of many beautiful diverse cultures both within the classroom and the world beyond. Our teachers utilize Skype, video, the world wide web and even hand-written letters to connect and collaborate with others on a global level. Our students are supported in becoming caring friends, citizens, and ambassadors. A focus on relationships and community, both locally and globally, is embedded throughout our curriculum.
In many respects, we are charged with preparing students for an uncertain future. That being said, we feel certain that we are preparing our students for a successful and rewarding future. Given our emphasis on embedding reflection, goal-setting, relationship-building, and community-connections throughout a rigorous, inquiry-based curriculum, we are preparing our students to be caring, resilient, self-directed problem-solvers.
The Dryden community is full of generous and caring people. We often find that our students, staff, and families genuinely want to help others and make the world a better place. There are numerous student councils and clubs that are sponsored by our staff and our PTA. Through these enrichment opportunities, students experience the rewards of giving back to the community, helping others in need and making a positive impact. Our student council includes extensive sub-committees that promote kindness, environmental awareness, school/community spirit, and community partnerships. Many of these clubs thrive on student-initiated efforts that make a positive impact on our school and our community. Students are also able to take initiative in forming a club based on interest. They are guided through a process with a staff sponsor to ensure clubs are inclusive.
Moreover, we look up to our fifth-grade students as leaders of our focus on "Dryden Cares". One of their leadership experiences involves identifying, planning and implementing a schoolwide service project. The fifth-grade class is responsible for coordinating every aspect of it. Another is their involvement in fundraising and identifying a legacy gift for the school. Over the years, legacy gifts have included hand-painted murals, basketball backboards, furniture for the library media center, a gaga ball court and furniture for the courtyard. These are wonderful opportunities for our students to experience the rewards of making a positive impact on those around them and giving back to the community.
Walk into our school and you'll notice that we are super proud of it. "Pride in Dryden" oozes out of every part of our building. Several years ago, the theme of Dryden's 60th birthday celebration was "Dryden Rocks" and that was something that stuck because... Dryden DOES rock! We've used this as our motto and hashtag (#DrydenRocks) to celebrate something as big as a teacher getting recognized at a national level to our Field Day where we have over 100 parent volunteers help facilitate many fun games and activities for our entire student body. Dryden rocks because every person in our school community rocks - there is something uniquely special and wonderful about each individual that makes them "rock". We want to celebrate that! Dryden Rocks. We know it, our community knows it, and anyone who enters our building knows it. It's a positive, passionate place to learn and grow.
Dolphins who have moved on from Dryden, no matter the age, remain very special to us. It is incredibly rewarding to see the positive long-term impact that Dryden's elementary school experiences have had on our former Dolphins. We greatly enjoy seeing and celebrating former Dolphins over the years. Seeing and hearing about the wonderful accomplishments of former Dolphins inspires current Dolphins to do their best learning, follow their dreams and use their talents for the betterment of themselves and others, just as the Dolphins who have come before them are doing!
722 South Dryden Place
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
Main Line: (847) 398-4280
Fax Number: (847) 394-6946
2018-19 Enrollment: 500
School Mascot: Dryden Dolphins
School Colors: Blue, Light Blue & Red
AM - 9:05am – 11:50am
PM - 12:50pm – 3:35 pm
Grades 1-5: 9:05 a.m. - 3:35 p.m.