What did you do in practice?
We focused on welcoming our new students to the middle school, especially given the growth in immigrant and refugee families. We provided "welcome bags" that included school-branded items to help students feel a part of the school community. And, we also hosted a half-day, multi-cultural where many different traditions, cultures and places around the world were celebrated. We wanted all of our students to feel that they were included, seen and welcomed.
Why did you do this implementation trial?
The demographics in our district were changing, something that was especially evident at the middle school. There, 30% of the prior year’s 8th grade class had joined the district during middle school, rather than coming from one of the district’s elementary schools. It was also noteworthy that a great many of the students were new English-language learners. We knew that the district needed to do a better job of welcoming these students and supporting them as valued members of the community.