Monday, August 26, 2013

The best first day of school ever

Remember the first day of high school every year? Walking in quietly, looking around, trying to blend in.  Dublin Jerome is starting its 10th year, and the very best tradition we have is how we welcome students back to school.

Ten years ago, when Jerome first opened its doors as the third high school in Dublin, we wanted to do something really special to welcome students to Jerome and let them know what a special family and school they were now joining.

At our opening staff meeting just prior to school, one of our teacher-leaders, Sondra, suggested that the entire staff line up and "clap" the students in on that first day.  We have a main hallway that has doors on each side in which students enter and on that first day the entire staff made one large tunnel from one entrance to another.  We gathered early and this tunnel, an amazing sight 10 years ago, still reigns supreme as our best tradition.

Every year our staff still forms one large tunnel that stretches from door to door and claps and cheers loudly for every single student who enters on that first day.  Since no other entrance exists, every student is greeted by every staff member in a raucous celebration that reverberates through the hallways.





You can hear it from outside the building, and because we have developed a terrific freshman transition program, the staff is now joined by our CAP (Celtic Advisory Program) student mentors.


We have worked hard to develop a quality student-led freshman transition program with student mentors who plan "a school within a school" for the freshman first day.  They plan the entire day from the pep rally for freshmen only with learning school student section cheers to learning to stand up and clap with the band on stage playing the fight song with gusto and the cheerleaders cheering.  The entire day is scripted for the freshmen with a partial day of going to classes and the rest of the day divided into groups all led by our student-leader mentors.



But first, the freshmen join every other Celtic and enter the building to wild applause and cheering.  What does it mean to be a Celtic? Something special. And every school year starts like this.



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8 comments:

  1. I have loved this tradition ever since you first told me about it! I wish every student in the world could start off their school year feeling this special!

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    1. Thanks, honey! You always bring a smile to my face! Love, Mommy

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  2. Love this idea! Celebrating students and the excitement of learning! Sharing this with my new principal today!

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    1. Thanks, Beth! I appreciate you taking the time to comment and for your positive response. Good luck this year!
      Cathy

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  3. What a way to welcome the kids in! Traditions like this are the best!

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    1. I agree, Elsie! It is just such a positive way to start the year! Thanks for taking the time to write.

      Cathy

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  4. Just a terrific thing, your welcome. We don't form a tunnel, but everyone is outside greeting students and those parents of younger students (K-8). It's such a celebration to do for students! Glad you shared!

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    1. Sounds like you have a fun celebratory tradition also! Thanks for sharing! Have a great year!
      Cathy

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I would appreciate hearing your ideas and learning from you. Please share.