Friday, November 14, 2008

A Brand New Kind of Welcome

Many years ago we began to orient our new teachers each year with a two to three day seminar with one whole day devoted to an Introduction to CCE. This includes our history, traditions, expectations, etc. It was a perfect way to get our newest community members up to speed about what makes our learning community so unique. Until now it had never even occurred to us to do this with students! Aside from about 200 new Kindergartners each year we usually get between 100-150 new first - fifth grade Creekers a year. Liz Duncan, our behavior specialist, began to see that a lot of the "disruptions" we were seeing were coming from those they may not have a full understanding of what our expectations are or were struggling trying to fit in at a new school. She quickly enlisted the help of our Book Fairy, KK Cherney, our Character Ed teacher, Nikki Hall, and our Guidance Counselor, Betsy McCall and they created an awesome "welcome party" for all our new students. They were oriented to all the faces and places they need to navigate our big school, they talked about academic and behavior expectations, they were encouraged to get to know each other and most importantly they were made to feel like they belonged and were cared about very, very much. This dynamic group turned it into the perfect "pep rally" to get kids excited about being part of their special new community. Without a doubt this has turned in to the next NEW tradition for the NEW to CCE!

New to CCE

Risk...Care...Dream...Expect...

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know our kids really enjoyed themselves and appreciate being welcomed by you. Thank you for putting together and hosting this great event!
-Karen Morris

Melissa Ross said...

Our student that went had a great time. He came to class the next day telling us all about it. Thank you for taking the time to make them feel welcome!

Wanda Lankford & JJ Ossi said...

Great idea! The new students really feel they belong at Chets Creek. Wow! Keep up the great work.

Moena said...

That was an AWESOME IDEA - I wish I had thought of it last year!!! It looked like a lot was accomplished!!! - Way to go KK, Betsy, Nikki, Julie and LIZ!!! I think it will make a huge difference!
Missing Chets,
Moena

Mrs. Wallace said...

I am really excited about this new tradition! It can be heartbreaking watching those new to Chets struggling in trying to fit in and also have something of their own at their new school just like their new classmates and friends. They want to be a part of the CCE history and not just a visitor.

In fifth grade, it's not an easy task because so much has happened to our 'veterans' during their journey. I think that this new tradition will help our new family members begin to accomplish the journey of soaring to new heights. By the end of the school year, a new chapter will be written with beautiful memoirs of being an eagle at Chets Creek.

I’m not saying that our way is the best way, but it is definitely done in a way not like any other. We dare, we risk, we believe and we enrich each other by working hard to make this a community by taking stock in each other by building relationships. Having a brand new kind of welcome I think reflects that declaration.

The Lipsky Team said...

This was an awesome experience for all of the new students I share with Mrs. Wallace. I remember feeling so welcomed when I began working at Chets and I hope our new students feel that way as well!