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what makes your school unique?
Old 09-19-2014, 08:42 PM
 
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Just curious, what makes your school unique? What do you feel is the most important thing you do in your school?


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Old 09-20-2014, 07:29 AM
 
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In this area, we are unique because we are a very small Christian school. We have small classes and lots of individual attention. There are other private schools 40 miles away in 3 directions. Nothing's wrong with them, but they are considerably larger.
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:29 PM
 
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Mine is pretty unique in that it is a country school. We have eight students in grades K-4. Last year there were nine students in K-6 and the year before I came there were two students in K-1. We have all the latest technology and the students get lots of one on one teaching. I teacher K-1 this year and have five students. I love it. It's just about ten miles out of the city and my youngest daughter also attends there and has the other teacher. We are the teacher, secretary, custodian, lunch person and we also teach music and phy ed.
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What Makes Us Unique?
Old 09-20-2014, 04:56 PM
 
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There are several things that make our school unique.

Our school is in the country and we have over 400 students. It is surrounded by a marsh and prairie, and we take advantage of hikes into these areas.

Everyone in my building takes responsibility for all student's behavior. It does not matter if that child is in your classroom or your grade. If children are making good choices, everyone compliments. If children are making bad choices, everyone corrects and gives consequences when needed. So if a child is running in the hall, any teacher who sees this makes the child practice returning to a designated spot and walk while the adult watches.

All classroom, bathroom, lunchroom, playground, etc. rules are consistent. All teachers, subs, aides, parents, and students know and expect these rules to be followed. So for example, when using the restroom, the expectation is that voices will be a level 1. If they are not, there is a warning and then practice for the child, group of children, or class that is not following this rule.

The staff has treats every Monday. One (or two) people sign-up on a chart posted in the lounge, and are in charge of the treats for sixty adults. Everyone participates once or twice per year. It is nice to know that the week will begin with treats in the lounge.

We also choose birthday buddies at the beginning of the year. This means that on your birthday, you can expect to have treats in the lounge that someone else made. You do not have to make them yourself. Summer birthdays are celebrated as half birthdays...someone with a birthday in July has a birthday buddy that brings treats in January.

My school has a circular driveway around the building. The buses pick-up students around the back of the building. On the last day of school, all the teachers stand in front of the building and wave as the buses pass for the last time. The bus drivers know to delay their start just a minute or so, which allows the bus duty supervisors time to get to the front of the building. The kids have all the windows on the buses down so they can wave back. They just love this last day ritual!

The principal hands out slips of paper at the beginning of staff meetings so everyone can write the name of a staff member and something you saw this person doing that above and beyond the call of duty. At the end, he plays a song when he reads the slips and the "something" that person is being recognized for doing. I don't know the name of the song, but the first few words are "Celebrate Good Times, Come On..."

At the beginning-of-the-year assembly (usually first Friday), Christmas sing-along, and end-of-year assembly, the teachers dress-up in some crazy way (sunglasses, hats with brims in the back, loud shirts, etc.) and sing a crazy song we have written set to a familiar melody. The administrative wing for the district is in one wing of our building. They even show up when we are doing a crazy song!

On the day before Christmas break, the staff and students dress up as elves and reindeer. The costumes are simple...headbands with reindeer antlers and stocking caps for the elves. I always dressed as Mrs. Clause, but now that I am retired, I donated my Mrs. Clause outfit to another staff member who took on the role. Our tech person made a Powerpoint with the words for familiar Christmas songs. These are projected onto the wall in the gym, and the music teacher plays the piano. We make sure we have songs that all grade levels can sing and enjoy.

For Halloween, students bring their costumes to school in a separate bag. Most of the day is spent in active learning, but about 2 p.m., all students and staff put on their costumes over their clothes. Yes...the bathroom gets crowded but the time limit to get ready is fifteen minutes and because the costume is going over clothes, may students just change in the classroom. We insist that make-up be limited, and costumes not have weapons or gore. Classes go to the gym and sit around the outside of the room. Halloween themed music is played while grade levels parade around the gym to show everyone their costumes. (In another building in my district where there is a group of parents who don't believe in Halloween, the students dress as book characters.) After the parade, students return to their rooms for treats and a game. We give them a little time to take off their costumes before boarding the buses.

A few years ago, the music teacher wrote a school song with the fourth graders. Then she taught it to all her music classes. The melody is familiar, and the words are a positive message of friendship. At the beginning of each assembly, the music teacher plays the song and students sing it while waiting for all the classes to arrive. The kids love this!

My building has a student council supervised by two teachers that meets once per month after school. Each month, they designate a special day (hat day, pajama day, backwards day, reindeer/elf day, twin day, etc.) for the school. They make posters that are hung around school to remind the students of the upcoming special day. Staff and students love this!!

The student council also believes in giving back to the community. They sponsor three food drives per year for the three food pantries in our attendance district. At Christmas, they have a toy drive too. Right before school is out, they have a pet food drive for a local animal shelter. All three of these events get great community PR...newspaper is invited to come for pictures.




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My school
Old 09-24-2014, 12:36 PM
 
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We truly are a family....I feel so blessed.


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Old 09-24-2014, 12:57 PM
 
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Connie, your school sounds great! The thing that makes my school unique is we have bears that frequently walk through our playground and all the kids have to stay inside until they're gone. I honestly can't think of anything else...
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