Defining our Monthly Themes
Coming into this year as we were coming out of the pandemic, our School Vision Committee wanted to define what each monthly focus would look like and how we could thoughtfully design activities throughout the year that would align with our school values, the District Strategic Plan, the Core Competencies and events that happen throughout the school year. The idea: to bring our school community together and continue to develop a deeper sense of belonging in our students.
The Monthly Themes include:
September: Overcoming Challenge/Courage
October: Safety and Gratitude
December: Celebrations/Cultural Diversity
January: Goal-Setting/Growth Mindset
March: Celebrating Learning
April: Taking Care of the Land
May: Joy and Fun and Play
June: Celebrating Who We Are
Every month of the school year has events, some traditional and some new, that we recognize, but how could we do this in a more thoughtful and meaningful way to not only provide richer learning experiences for our students, but align with what we value in our quest to celebrate inclusion and diversity in our school community. For example, in September, schools in Richmond have for years raised money and taken part in the Terry Fox Run. Using our theme of Overcoming Challenge/Developing Courage, we could make this event more meaningful and connected to what we want to do and where we want to go.
At our first Pro-D Day we spent time discussing the themes the committee came up with and allowed teachers to ponder how we can enhance this into our practice. We used a carousal strategy to identify each theme and brainstorm ways we could meld events of the month with our values. Our teachers then divided themselves into groups and selected a month they would plan school-wide actives for our students. Morning announcements, newsletters and our school website would be the platforms from which to communicate our learning to the parent community. Assemblies, Buddy Classes, Spirit Days and Family Teams activities would be the vehicles to put our plan into action.