Friday, April 4, 2014

Ba,Ba,Ba, Be True To Your School

It sounds better when the Beach Boys sing it!  Recently, our students took a school climate survey and while there are always areas to continue to work on, the results were very positive. I realize it's elementary and that surveys of this kind tend to skew positively, but it still made me feel good to see that children are happy and feel safe at our school.  My middle school daughter also just took a school climate survey and shared with me at dinner that she was shocked at how many students "ripped their own school". She said many students were angry about a lot of things and looked at the survey as a way to vent.  Now, I was far from being a model student during my middle school years (I vividly remember pleading with my parents not to attend conferences during those years).  However, I still felt pride in my school (playing sports helped with that).

Knowing that research shows that students perform better when they feel a sense of pride (or at least a connection) with their school, I was thinking of ways that we can help kids connect with school.  I began with thinking of the ways that we are already helping students connect: morning pledge, monthly assemblies, classroom meetings, and spirit wear are some of the things we are doing.  Then I started thinking that students model the behavior and attitudes they see from adults (mainly their parents), so it became important to be sure that the parents are taking pride in our school.  If a parent demonstrates respect, pride, and support for our school, the children will follow suite.  I recently read a blog post from a principal that was sharing the extreme pride he took in giving building tours and how this transferred to the parents (and new students).  This brought me right back to the beginning, that school pride starts with the school administrator and staff.  So, what are some ways that we can build that pride and sense of belonging?  Here are some themes that permeated his blog:

First impressions are critical (model that the student and family are the most important people walking through the door)

Everyone is a school representative (secretary, teachers, principal, custodial staff, and students)

Be yourself (be transparent with data, show strengths and areas we are growing in, invite parents to check out other buildings)

Listen first and then share (What are their needs? Answer their questions.  Share contact information for a follow up meeting)

If you would like to read all ten points listed by the principal, please visit the post "Passion...Purpose...Pride" at  I guess the effort to increase student pride begins with me and with you.  The more pride we share with the parents the more student pride will increase as well.  One student, one event, one building tour at a time.  And maybe, just maybe, I will start playing the Beach Boys during building tours with our new sound system in the fall;)

For those of you who haven't heard the song in a while (or ever:) 


"He who opens a school door, closes a prison." - Victor Hugo

"I had a terrible education. I attended a school for emotionally disturbed teachers." - Woody Allen (I may have used this one before, but it always makes me laugh:)

"There are advantages to being elected President. The day after I was elected, I had my high school grades classified Top Secret." - Ronald Reagan


Mini-Observations for Grades 3&4, RCR & LMC

Monday, April 7: Window opens for 3rd Grade Smarter Balanced Assessment pilot
                           12:00 pm Jon to Rotary Meeting
                           2:30 pm Jon to Central Office for District Accreditation Principal Interviews
                           6:30 pm Board of Education Meeting at Rosedale (SIC presentation)

Tuesday, April 8: 8:15 am Kindergarten Round-Up Planning Meeting
                           10:15 am Jon meeting with new scouts representative

Wednesday, April 9: 3:00 pm  Jon to Special Board Meeting for Accreditation Exit Report

Thursday, April 10: 8:00 am Staff Meeting
                              1:00 pm Elementary Principals Meeting at Central Office

Friday, April 11: Final Data Dive Meeting in the LMC (Rotating Subs)


Wednesday, April 16: 2nd Grade Talking Zoo
Friday, April 18: Spring Break Begins
Monday April 28-Friday, May 2: All-School Write
Tuesday, April 29: Student of the Month Assembly
Wednesday, April 30: Building-Based PD day

Thursday, May 1: PTA Meeting 6:30 pm (Election of new officers)
Friday, May 2: Volunteer Tea 2:30-3:45 pm
Wednesday, May 14: Arts,Beats,Eats&Books 6:00-8:00 pm
Thursday, May 15: Kindergarten Round-Up 
Friday, May 16: Student Growth Data due to office
Tuesday, May 27: Student of the Month Assembly
Friday, May 30: PTA Spring Fling/Technology Basket Raffle 6:30-8:30 pm

No comments:

Post a Comment