Over the past several months, I have shared strategies we have used with our staff, students, and community to improve our school culture. This month, I will share a few other strategies that we have implemented to enhance our school culture. My hope is that something I share will spark an idea that you can apply within your own school/district.
- Father/Son and Mother/Daughter Nights
- We host two events for each of our Father/Son and Mother/Daughter Nights each year, one Fall and one Spring event. The Father/Son nights have included various activities such as: building birdhouses, archery competitions, Tae Kwon Do self-defense classes, cornhole competitions, etc. Our Mother/Daughter nights are led by Ms. Jaime Randolph, Muhlenberg South Middle School guidance counselor. She leads the mothers and daughters in crafts, such as painting wooden cutouts of flowers, mason jars, hearts, Christmas ornaments, clovers, etc. The event is free and we make sure to provide food for the participants through funding from our Family Resource Center. We strive to make each event a great opportunity for fathers, sons, mothers, and daughters to spend quality time together. We always ask participants to leave us feedback, so that we can improve, making these nights the best we can for their family. The response back from these events has been outstanding, with participants making comments such as, “I can’t wait for the next one!”
- Book Frenzy
- Our librarian, Ms. Bruce, organizes a Fall and Spring Book Frenzy each year. Staff members choose a book they would like to read and share with students. Staff members read the book and plan a short discussion/activity for students based on the book. The signups are limited to 8 students per group. Students who wish to participate can choose the book they would like to read and sign up. Students are provided a copy of the book they have chosen, and are asked to read the book entirely before the book frenzy date. On the Book Frenzy day, students meet with other students and a staff member to discuss their novel. Door prizes for both students and staff are available, with PD credit available to staff members. The best part of the Book Frenzy is the relationships and connections staff members are able to make with our students.
- Creative and Interesting Assemblies
- We attempt to provide our students with opportunities they may never have. Our assemblies are one way we try to do this. Some of the acts that we have been able to bring to Muhlenberg South Middle are: Taylor Mason (ventriloquist/comedian), The Wulfe Bros., rePercussion, The Choice Bus, School is Cool tour (UK basketball players), AnimalTales, Paul Kelly (juggler/motivational speaker), etc. Some of these are educational and some are for entertainment for our students. We have truly enjoyed these events and plan to continue to add new, creative, and interesting assemblies in the future.
- KPREP Recognition for Students
- Before KPREP testing begins we recognize the students who have performed well on the KPREP test the previous year. We recognize those who are straight distinguished, those who have at least one distinguished, and those who are straight proficient. Straight distinguished students receive a trophy and a t-shirt, at least one distinguished qualifies them for a silver medallion, and straight proficient qualifies them for a certificate.