• We at Dryden are empowered to be reflective learners.


    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


    It is important for our students to take ownership of their learning. At Dryden, each student is aware of and is engaged in their academic student goal. This creates buy in and intimate engagement with a student's learning, leading to what we hope is, greater retention.Each year, we host a volunteer breakfast, to thank and honor those in our community who give the gift of their time to our students and our school. Our volunteers are parents who care enough about the school and believe Dryden to be the center of their community.The 5th grade service project has quite an impact on our students and our community. Our 5th grade leaders identify and plan a service project each year and are responsible for coordinating every aspect of it. Click here to watch a video that highlights just one example of a 5th grade service learning project from 2019.We believe our school is more than the numbers that you will find here in the Illinois State Report Card. We are an experience and an environment that students and teachers collaborate in and grow in, together. We take our job personally and are proud of the results, both on paper, and in the growth of our students as human beings. Click here to view Dryden's State Report Card.

    Our classes are small, intimate and personal. We believe it is important for our teachers to have the time and space to get to know their students, one-on-one. We believe that allows for better instruction and, thus, better learning.Every student should feel special and unique and should be celebrated for being who they are. The Star Student program does just that. Every student, within their classroom, is highlighted for a week of the school year. This student tells about themselves, shares who they are and any special interests they have, and their classmates support and celebrate them during that process.The world is at our fingertips here at Dryden. Not only with the use of technology to connect our students to the world at large, but with the actual student body that we proudly have here. The freindships made here add support and perspective that are carried on throughout a student's life. We celebrate all of our students' cultures and backgrounds and make who we are as individuals a school-wide strength. 



    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!


    This Empowered to Learn logo visually shows students how to be a superhero through learning.


    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. 


    Dryden Cares

    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.


    Dryden Rocks

    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.


    Former Dolphins

    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


    School Facts

    2018-19 Enrollment: 500
    School Mascot: Dryden Dolphins
    School Colors: Blue, Light Blue & Red


    School Hours

    AM - 9:05am – 11:50am
    PM - 12:50pm – 3:35 pm
    Grades 1-5: 9:05 a.m. - 3:35 p.m.
    (lunch 12:10-1:10)