Onboarding and Welcoming New Students and Teachers
As such, at BelPark we have really delved into how we welcome and create positive relationships with our new students, as well as our new teachers, to our school. This year, we have implemented some fantastic ways to connect with our new community members:
- Our 1st Family Open House on Friday September 1st, before the long weekend. We had new families as well as previous families attend. It helped to get rid of a ton of anxiety, and we had many kids who would have struggled make it happily into classroom on the first day.
- All teachers emailed letters of introduction and welcome, along with a personal photo, home over the summer using SchoolMessenger.
- Individual Family Tours with the Admin Team as new students were registered were set up through appointments.
- We see everyone as a BelPark Ambassador, whether students, teachers, or parents! Our students have taken this to heart!
- Our staff members were so open and embracing of sharing our school context and culture, enabling new teachers to gain an understanding of BelPark and our students’ specific needs.
- Our staff and teams came together to support one another in classroom setup, finding and moving furniture, planning, etc.
- Our Staff Meeting Minutes, School Organizational, Family and Assessment Handbooks are set up as online resources in OneDrive so that new staff can easily read through for referencing the processes we have set up.
- We have purposefully minimized the amount of meeting time so that our new teams could plan and come together around developing excellent student learning opportunities.
- As we now have our new wireless network set up in the school, we have adopted Twitter as our classroom and school communication tool (@BelParkCBE). Teachers are now able to share out what students are doing in class each day so parents are able to understand what their kids are engaged in.
- Less intentionally, I share out entries from my own personal professional blog (https://unravelingnewfrontiers.wordpress.com/), which allows me to share my own reflections, goals, and thoughts with our staff as well as the world at large…
Keep learning tonnes!
Derek Rakowski (@derekrakowski) has been a CBE student, teacher, and principal. He still thinks he has the best job in the world, as he is learning each and every day…