Tuesday, September 3, 2013

SKY Partnership Welcomes Students to Year Two!

Some walked, some came in cars and others arrived in big yellow buses. That’s right! It’s back to school for Spring Branch ISD’s Landrum and Northbrook Middle Schools, KIPP Courage College Prep at Landrum and YES Prep Northbrook, better known as the SKY Partnership.  

YES Prep Northbrook opened its doors to students on Aug. 8th and KIPP Courage opened Aug. 19th.  Landrum and Northbrook Middle Schools both welcomed students on Aug. 26th.

Eric M. Schmidt, KIPP Courage School Leader, welcomes
 students on the first day of class
Each new or returning student at KIPP Courage was welcomed with a handshake and a smile on the first day of school. “I was nervous, at first but now I’m fine.  I’m excited to learn what I’m going to do!,” exclaimed Mayra Martinez, a new 5th grade KIPPster. 

Students, teachers and administrators at all four schools have high expectations about the upcoming school year.  All are interested in building a culture of community.

KIPP schools have developed a culture of community, family, character and success.  “We want our kids to have that culture,’’ states Eric Schmidt, School Leader at KIPP Courage.   Inside and out of the classroom, students are consistently reminded of the high expectations that are built around character strengths.  

Positive quotes line the hallways of both Landrum and Northbrook.  All students are expected to model and live character strengths such as grit, self-control, curiosity and optimism to name a few.   Inspirational quotes are scripted on the walls and hanging from the ceilings to motivate and remind each student that they have what it takes to succeed and accomplish their dreams.

KIPP Courage and YES Prep have both doubled in size. “We’re excited,” YES Prep Director Cendie Stanford said.  “Doubling in size both in adults and students in just one year is rewarding.  It means that we must be doing something right.  The word is out and we are on our way.  We’re twice as big and this year will be twice as good in all kinds of ways,” she also said.

With several days of professional development and intensive training around team building, KIPP Courage, Landrum, YES Prep and Northbrook teachers are better equipped to build a culture that will help students have a successful year. Teachers are just as motivated and eager to embark on this new school year as the students.  

 A student in Hannah Swanson's class
gets work done while seated on an
exercise ball
Hannah Swanson’s 6th grade Humanities students walked in to find that they had exercise balls in place of chairs.   Earlier this summer Hannah, their KIPP Courage teacher, spent time researching ways of keeping the brain active and pliable during learning.  Studies have shown that exercise or stability balls help students focus.  With permission from her school leader, Hannah decided to validate her findings by utilizing this alternative seating in her classroom. 

If the first few days and weeks of school are an indication of how the school year will end, then it’s clear that this year will be a great one!

See the link below to read about other SKY Partner first day preparations and activities.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More