First day festivities usher welcoming start; School year begins differently

Bethany Birchfield, News Editor

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This year the Nest decided to try a new approach to the first day of school by implementing a back to school bash to kick started the year.

The planning began last May when teachers Carla Harward and Jennifer Chandler went to a Josten’s Yearbook presentation where they were inspired to create first day of school festivities to make everyone, especially underclassmen, feel more comfortable in the school environment.

After starting this year in this way, Chandler said she  was really pleased with how things went. “Our goal was to establish a climate of positive energy and a sense of community,” said Chandler.  “I think that was particularly effective with our underclassmen”

In addition to team building and goal building activities, the day also featured the marching band,  the chorus, and the PTA who provided school color decorations.

A lot of planning that went into the bash, and much of that was completed by the school improvement team..

Spanish teacher Mrs. Lori Rake was one of the teachers involved in the bash. She helped to get ready for the big day and states, “I cut the feathers and some leaves. I did the PowerPoint and stuffed mailboxes, so it was a lot of behind the scenes stuff.” She continues, “I think it was a really neat way to start school. It was something different than the drill and kill of the rules and syllabus.”

Sophomore Baily Lynch admits, “I liked how there was more communication between people so it wasn’t just boring and sitting there the first day. We got to know everybody on the first day of school rather than later in the year.”

Health teacher Mrs. Jacque Williams also partook in the activity preparation where she volunteered to do a lot of the crafty cutting and pasting of feathers and leaves.

Williams reports, “Our goal was to make it not be like the typical first day of school… I think it was effective because we weren’t drilling them with the routines and rules.”

Freshman Dylan Jablon spoke about his first day of high school saying, “I felt like the PowerPoints were a good way to ease into the school year, I mean at least we weren’t doing work the first day.”

In addition to get to know you activities, students were also asked to reflect on the year ahead.   This kind of self- reflection started in homeroom where students  each received a leaf to write their future aspirations on so that they could set goals for the new school year.

Assistant Principal Bryan Pawlicki stated, “I hope everyone felt welcomed, that was our plan, and I hope most people felt that way.”

The rest of the week followed with different activities such as inspirational speeches, bonding activities, and icebreakers. Teachers put on a different PowerPoint slide each block to engage in different conversations and get to know their students.

Chandler said, “Our goal was to keep the energy going, and also to let students have an opportunity to know that we value them not just as a student, but as a unique individual who brings something positive to the classroom.”

 

 

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First day festivities usher welcoming start; School year begins differently