Northside Spirit

Posted by Nathan Hatt on 10/20/2023 3:30:00 PM

In 2014, Northside Elementary began a process of transformation that would take many years to fully realize. Building on a bedrock of community, the school began to spread out to accommodate a larger student body (note: the blue parts of the building that looak like Lego blocks) as it expanded from a K-5 neighborhood school to a Y5-8 community school and magnet program. The curriculum endured even more dramatic changes as an energetic staff developed a new teaching and learning model with the goal of STEAM education through Project Based Learning. During that first school year, we also led school-wide competitions facilitated through a workshop process to continue to rebrand the school. Our logo was conceptualized by one of A2 STEAM's very first sixth-grade students, and finalized with help from our very own in-house art department. That year we also changed the mascot. The energy in the air was palpable, and through much thought and discussion, it was clear that a new mascot should capture our collective feelings of high energy and renewal. The phoenix was the perfect symbol for this, and the version seen on the gymnasium floor was also designed by a sixth-grade student.
 
In our tenth year, we are so proud of how far we have come. We are proud of the culture we sustain, the structure for delivering an innovative curriculum, and the generative energy around us every day. We have certainly endured significant creative challenges. Taking full measure of our journey also means acknowledging the bedrock culture that we referenced earlier. We had a chance to reflect a great deal last year, as there were several PBL units that endeavored to investigate the history of A2 STEAM. We were indelibly inspired by the work of our children to help our community understand the past, and floored by the stories shared by our diverse panel of Northside constituents during the first-grade project launch. It was at that time that we learned more about the origins of the former mascot, the polar bear, the tradition of the ice rink, and how this community has long been a social nexus of belonging and opportunity.
 
In tribute to the Northside community formally established in 1939, our spirit wear for our tenth autumn celebrates the bedrock community of A2 STEAM with a collegiate type treatment reading "Northside" situated below the austere yet friendly polar bear mascot. This artwork comes in two tee shirts, gold and tie-dye, a royal blue long-sleeve tee shirt, and a black sweatshirt. Join us in celebrating our past, and through this acknowledgment, all the wonderful things yet to come.