Back to School Fun, Part One!

MR. MCCARTY WELCOMES VIKINGS BACK TO VICTOR POINT, ISSUES LOOSE TOOTH CHALLENGE

A new school year means new teachers, new classrooms, and new faces! In a school-wide assembly held the first day of school, Mr. McCarty stood in front of the student body.

“Where are my Kindergarteners?” he asked, and the littlest hands in the room shot into the air with excitement. “Here they are! Welcome to Victor Point!”

The student body cheered and applauded these newest additions.

Mr. McCarty asked students who among them had a loose tooth, or had ever lost a tooth at school. Then he issued a challenge: for students to try to be the first to bring new Victor Point Secretary, Lisa Kuenzi, a tooth.

“Mrs. Kuenzi has never had a student bring her a tooth before,” he announced. “And you’re not truly a Viking until you lose a tooth at school!”

Victor Point Students at Assembly

Mr. McCarty Asks for a Show of Hands of Who has Ever Lost a Tooth at School

Throughout the rest of the assembly, students could be seen wiggling teeth loose with their tongues, each doing their best to be the first to the office with a lost tooth.

SILVER CREST 8TH GRADERS ALREADY WORKING TOWARD HIGH SCHOOL & BEYOND

Attending a K-8 school can mean nine straight school years of relative familiarity, and the transition to High School can come as a culture shock to students unprepared for the change. Silver Crest Principal Mark Hannan, former Principal of Silverton High School, is uniquely prepared to help mitigate that issue.

Silver Crest 8th graders

Silver Crest’s 8th Grade Students

“We talk about the transition all the time,” says Mr. Hannan. “Literally as a staff in every staff meeting. We talk about it as a school, it’s built into our pillars of learning up here. We’re constantly talking about ‘what is it going to look like at Silverton High School?’. We’re working towards our goal of 100% of our students graduating.”

And it’s not just talk. Silver Crest has implemented programs and activities designed to get students used to what high school will be like.

“They have AG, we built that into their schedule, just like at the high school,” Mr. Hannan explains. “They talk about things related to what they want to do beyond high school and preparing for graduation. We’re just trying to get conversations on the radar screen that might not be on an 8th grader’s radar screen if you didn’t purposefully talk about it.”

With 8th grade class in particular, Mr. Hannan is looking forward to a fun year.

“They were just 6th graders when I got here. It’s surreal that they’re the big kids now. It’s a nice group of kids who I think are excited to take on a leadership role at our school before they move on to SHS.”

SCOTTS MILLS STUDENTS PLAY TOGETHER REGARDLESS OF AGE

In addition to the sense of familiarity described above, the K-8 experience means students have an opportunity to spend time with and learn from schoolmates both much younger and much older than themselves.

During the first assembly of the school year at Scotts Mills Elementary, Ms. Plov involved the entire student body in a game of Shipwreck on the gymnasium floor.

Scotts Mills Assembly Game

Scotts Mills Students Grades K-8 play a game together in the first assembly of the school year

“Swab the deck!” Ms. Plov commanded, and students from the smallest kindergartener to the tallest 8th grader laughed and mimed the action, pretending to be sailors on a gym-sized boat.

“Captain on deck!” she yelled next, and students rushed back to their spots along the wall, standing in a fake salute to their make-believe captain.

Staff members including the district’s School Resource Officer, Officer Lamoreaux, and Principal Kirstin Jorgenson played alongside the students, connecting knuckles during “Sailor Overboard” and making sure no one was left out of the fun.

“It was exciting to see the entire student body and staff involved in a cooperative game where the students were practicing school readiness skills of following directions, listening and working together,” said Mrs. Paula Cross, Counselor at Scotts Mills, Evergreen, and Silver Crest. “The younger children watched first hand as the older students joined in and modeled these skills. It was a great way to continue building a sense of community and for students nervous about re-entering school to feel included and have fun with their peers”

After the assembly students went out to recess, where the effects of the game could be seen all over the playground. Eighth grade student Lily Hayashida spent the first half of recess standing near kindergarteners who were struggling to reach the play equipment. She’d offer a hand and lift them up onto the zip-line machine, then offer a little push and reset it for the next student.

Lily Hayashida Helps a Kindergartener at Recess

Lily Hayashida Helps a Kindergartener at Recess

“I’ve got a brother in Kindergarten this year,” Lily said. “I know what it’s like and I want them to have fun.”

AT ROBERT FROST, A NEW YEAR MEANS NEW FRIENDS

At some schools in our district, every student in a given grade is in the same classroom. Not so at Robert Frost, where each of the three grades served is spread across multiple classrooms in the same mezzanine. This means that the first day of school involves meeting not only a new teacher, but new classmates!

Mrs. Stadeli's Class at Robert Frost School

Mrs. Stadeli Leads an Introductions Game

In Mrs. Stadeli’s class, students went around the room saying their first names and something unique about themselves. Each student in turn would introduce themselves, then go back through the line of everyone who had gone before, remembering their introductions as well!

“Wow,” Mrs. Stadeli said as one student managed eight introductions in a row without so much as a pause in the list. “You’re really good at this.”

Up Next

Stay tuned for our next issue where we’ll cover more of our unique and outstanding elementary and middle schools!