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First Day!

Posted by on Aug. 24, 2010 at 9:40 AM
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Barack Obama Elementary School Opens Monday

Updated: Friday, 20 Aug 2010, 6:10 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 20 Aug 2010, 5:21 PM EDT


UPPER MARLBORO, Md. - There are already six public and/or charter schools in the U.S. named in honor of President Barack Obama. On Monday, there will be a seventh: Barack Obama Elementary School in Upper Marlboro, Md.

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Obama Elementary will be a very green school indeed. "Waterless" urinals have been installed in the boys' rooms, regular toilets offer a low-flush option for liquid waste and the light switches in classrooms have motion detectors. When the classroom appears empty, the lights turn off.

What happens when students are sitting still, say, for tests? Designers have already thought of that. The motion detector light switches also have chip memories which "learn" when the classroom is in ordinary use. So, if students are normally present, say, Mondays through Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., the lights will stay on even if no motion is detected.

There are no heating boilers at Obama Elementary. Buried beneath a grassy playing field, there are 144 water tanks. In the summer, the water in those buried tanks is significantly cooler than the outside air temperature. The cool water is piped into and around the building, allowing cool air to circulate. In the winter, the water in the underground tanks will be much warmer than the outside air temperature. That will be the primary source of heating, and utility bills should be significantly lower than average.

Obama Elementary School has been built for a capacity of 792 students. As of a few days ago, expected enrollment at the school in this fast-growing section of Prince George's County was 784 students.


A very historic day it was indeed. The newest school in our county, named after our current president, and one of the newest Green schools opened yesterday to usher in my baby's first day of kindergarten. It was an emotional day for me, and my parents and sisters came to enjoy it with us. He was up and ready to go early that morning. My sister brought sparkling cider and we toasted to his wonderful first day. His mini-entourage escorted him up the hill and awaited the arrival of his first bus. He was a bit shy, as he never really interacted with children, other than family members and his brief stint at a learning center. But he quickly made friends. When he got home and was asked how was his day, he started speaking and didn't stop until he went to bed.

Here are some pics!

Peeking from behind me!

Home from school with a new friend!


by on Aug. 24, 2010 at 9:40 AM
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