The beginning of school becomes a unique opportunity to set a pace for the school year as districts use various methods to approach the day with the welcome back speech to staff and the introduction of new members to the school district.
When decades ago, I planned my first day in the district with a large senior high school, two junior high and nine elementary schools, my goal was to make a change in arranging the meeting of “all staffs” in the high school cafeteria with coffee, tea, etc. plus from 8-9, which worked out great as summer and family stories prevailed with all moving to the auditorium by 9 for the formal program and welcome, which worked for me for fourteen years.
Prior to that year, the welcome was done at the high school first, followed by a similar welcome at each of the junior high schools (now middle schools) and a final welcome for all elementary staff members at one of the larger elementary schools. This meant you were addressing the staff in four different places with similar presentations and introductions.
Whether what I did was right or wrong, I heard many great comments on the feeling that we were all one school district family and the chance to get together over coffee set a nice informal opportunity for staff before the formal welcome. When I say I had many great comments, I would not obviously hear the negative ones as much as “tradition” is hard to change.
My real reason for the inclusivity of the session together was meant as an attempt to bridge the gap that often exists between levels plus the need to express that we were all in the teaching and learning of our students together. I also introduced all new school district staff at the general meeting for the same purpose as I indicated above.
Obviously, following the general session, staff went off to their own schools for whatever format was established by the principal. All superintendents try to make the most of that session and have developed some unique programs to make them successful in the huge important challenge ahead for the year.
Hoping for a great school year ahead,
JETTY defined as a pier or structure of stones, piles or the like, projecting into the sea or other body of water to protect a harbor and deflect the current