The 2017-2018 Waitsburg High School ASB motto this year is: Cardinals are KIND. Kind, Inclusive, Nice, and Dedicated. The staff and student body have been focused on these four words since September 5th, the first day of school.
Today was the last day of school for two weeks. In years past, the teachers are rigorous, demanding, and by golly, we will teach till the last minute! I cannot say that was still not our sentiment today, we did teach normal class loads with quizzes, wrapping up units, finishing projects, cleaning shops. However, after lunch a new tradition was born and we all learned more.
Today was about building community within our school. We focused on the “I” in KIND. Today was the culminating activity in what had been started earlier in the month. A former graduate painted wonderful winter scenes in our high school commons windows that greeted the students every day. The ASB advisor set up an artificial tree by the students’ lockers, the high school students helped Santa hand out hot cocoa during breakfast at the elementary school, clubs had all sorts of meeting and gift exchanges, and on Monday, the 1st period classes had a door decorating contest that related to the curriculum.
Left: Animal Science
After lunch the students gathered in the auditorium. From there they could choose an activity such as Bunco, decorating gingerbread houses, watch a movie, or play basketball. All the activities were designed to be social (maybe not the movie, but we all talk during a movie don’t we?), encourage students to interact with each other, and bond.
I played Bunco for the first time in my life and had a blast with a great group of seniors.
The next task was to meet back in the auditorium for a photo scavenger hunt. This was fun to watch. Every team of 3-4 had to have one senior, one junior, and one freshman or sophomore. Again, the goal was to encourage mingling with other students, and allow the upper classmen to take a few younger students under their wings. My view from the concession stand as I set up cookies and hot cocoa was a treat. I saw every student run by my window with pure excitement on their face. Out of the 60 students that were participating, only one seemed to be distracted with a cell phone. The rest were using their phones as a tool for the scavenger hunt, and speaking excitedly to their team mates. Yes, there may have been some persuasive debate happening, and it was good for them to have to defend their thought process and then listen to another perspective.
The winter break can be hard on many. There are so many crazy home situations outside of our school walls. It was wonderful to see every single student who chose to come to school today be included. These activities allow all staff and students to get to know each other. It also sets up an environment that is safe and encourages a sense of community throughout the school year. Waitsburg Cardinals are KIND and can take those practices with them into their adult life and be active citizens of their community wherever that may be.