Idea #2: KC the Cougar
Buoyed by the success of "chalk talk," we started a campaign to convince our principal to purchase a mascot costume for Kilmer, Home of the Cougars. We envisioned the Cougar greeting students as they arrive at school some mornings, popping in to the cafeteria, and cheering at a basketball game in a neighborhood rivalry. After a focused public relations effort and research into costume prices, our principal agreed and the Cougar became a Kilmer Student for Life this winter.
KC the Mascot now has his own Twitter feed and we are planning to hold a school-wide bio writing contest. We all need to know KC's roots, right?
Idea #3: A School Hashtag for Social Media
As more teachers at our school jump on Twitter, we grabbed an idea we saw in use at other schools and began to encourage colleagues to tweet and using the the hashtag #kmspride. We also use the hashtag on our school and library Twitter accounts to showcase the learning going on at Kilmer.
Idea #4: Gratitude Tree
Carrie, an awesome colleague, pulled together a Gratitude Tree during the month of November. She asked the staff to show gratitude to each other by writing small notes on paper leaves and sticking them on the branches of a tree on our main office window. We all walked by the tree, browsing and reflecting on the leaves, and periodically adding a leaf or two over the course of the month.
Idea #5: Coffee House
For years, our school has been hosting a monthly "Coffee House" on the last Friday of each month. This is a grass roots effort, with Fran, our chief organizer, pulling together coffee, tea, and basic supplies and different folks contributing food, potluck-style. It allows us to gather briefly in the morning, talk to colleagues we may not see too often, and share a quick moment before the school day begins.
For Further Reading: School Community and Culture
Creating Culture in Schools (ASCD)
Building School Community, Culture, and Climate (Education World)
Useful Pinterest Boards
How do you build community in your school? This is our 50th anniversary year and we have an in-house committee making exciting plans. We would love to hear other ideas that we can share and put into action at Kilmer!
Corey & Gretchen
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