While some students count down the days until summer break, others can’t wait for the next school year to start. It may still be early August, but many K-12 schools across the country are heading back to their classrooms this month. That's right, school is starting up soon! From creative ways to make students feel comfortable and settled for the new year, to school safety initiatives to protect students from safety threats, there is a LOT of preparing to do both inside and outside of the classroom.
Our Favorite Back to School Ideas
Here are some of our favorite ways that K-12 schools have welcomed students, teachers, and staff back from summer break:
- Clarksville, Indiana
While there is still a week left of summer in the Clarksville Community School District, teachers and staff are already hard at work. Superintendent Tina Bennett and her team made boxes full of swag, giving kids everything from bumper stickers and backpacks to candy and calendars. The team also spent two days visiting students and their families who live outside of the district at home to show appreciation and gratitude for making a tremendous effort to come to Clarksville Community School District.
- Woodstock, Georgia
School has started in Woodstock, Georgia and elementary school are settling in for the year. Teachers welcomed students with all sorts of activities. From unique greetings for each student as they entered the classroom, to fun play time on the playground, to getting a delicious breakfast, every student was welcomed by smiling teachers and staff.
- Flint, Michigan
Flint Community Schools are welcoming back families and students for the new school year with community gatherings across the city. The Back 2 School Community Extravaganza offers backpack giveaways, free haircuts, and food. This will also be the first year the district is trying out a balanced calendar, which has students in session for around 45 days followed by a five day break. This new balanced calendar is an alternative to a long summer break and many teachers are looking forward to trying it out.
- Wellsville, Ohio
The annual Back-To-School Bash hosted by Wellsville Local Schools offers games, prizes, face painting, and giveaways. Students received all kinds of school supplies donated by local businesses and organizations. On the first day of school, the district kindly provides school supplies to all students so they are not required to purchase any supplies.
- Phoenix, Arizona
While welcoming students back to school can be a big deal, welcoming teachers and staff can be even bigger in Arizona. More than 3,500 Phoenix High School District teachers, staff, and administrators gathered at the district’s convocation. With a beach themed meeting, teachers heard about the district's segregated past, integration, how it’s building equity for all students, and its vision for the future.
- Athens, Georgia
Students from the University of Georgia traveled to Clarke Central and Cedar Shoals High Schools to welcome incoming students as they started their new year. By connecting UGA students with high school students, the university hopes the high schoolers can begin to see the University of Georgia as a future destination. Students from UGA had signs reading, “Welcome back, Jaguars!” and “Have a great year!”.
- Cape Girardeau, Montana
The Principal and kindergarten teachers from Jefferson Elementary School went door to door greeting new students and their parents. Teachers said it’s a great way to start interacting with both students and their parents. With parent engagement being a key to student success, these teachers see the value in creating positive relationships with parents and guardians. They also handed out bags of goodies as they went to each home.
Back to School Safety
Is your school prepared to welcome students back? School safety has been on the forefront of the minds of educators. As students flood back through K-12 school doors, they officially become the school's responsibility. There are many school safety technologies that are making it easier for school districts to protect students, staff, and school faculty. Everybody can agree on one thing: we want children to return home safe each and every day.
Many educators and school decision makers have looked into school safety applications such as panic buttons, as school safety threats and school shootings are becoming more of an issue across the United States. In seconds, a panic button app clearly communicates an emergency to 9-1-1, on-site personnel, and first responders. As a result, emergency response times are shortened, first responder safety is improved, and lives are saved.
Are you interested in learning more? Check out our Rave Panic Button video below!
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