Ready or not, the 2022-2023 school year is here!
While back-to-school season is traditionally filled with plenty of extroversion, energy and spirit, the best campuses are always looking for new and innovative ways to engage every student on campus.
Thankfully, that’s where we come in!
Below, you’ll find a list of simple Ideas Worth Stealing for the new school year–
First Fit, Final Fit!
Traditional spirit days require a lot of student buy-in. Rather than asking students to wear something dramatically outside of their comfort zone early in the year, host a day that meets students exactly as they are!
On the first day of school, host “First Fit Day”. In addition to thanking students for dressing up for your “spirit day”, your leaders can roll out the red carpet and take pictures of students with their friends!
Want to boost spirit? Repeat this spirit day on the final day of school (called “Final Fit Friday”). After taking pictures of students with their friends once more, post “before and after” shots from the year!
Scan for Help, Scan for Kindness
Using a simple QR code generator, create and print 2 sets of simple flyers around campus.
Scan for Help
When scanned, this QR code directs students to a randomly generated tip to succeed like:
- Did you know that _______ club is an awesome way to get involved?
- Looking to try out for a sport? Contact ________!
- Have you met our school librarian? _________ is an incredible resource to have!
Scan for Kindness
When scanned, this QR code directs students to a randomly generated message of kindness like:
- We love you! That’s all.
- Guess what? You’re awesome.
- In case nobody has told you yet today, you’re doing great.
Transfer students deserve plenty of kindness and appreciation to start the year. To help, compile “Welcome Packages” of encouraging notes, helpful resources, and even school spirit gear. Finally, deliver each welcome package to students during their morning classes!
All students want to feel encouraged and included in your campus culture. While walking into your school’s first assembly or rally of the year, give students simple spirit gear to use/wear. These items can include rally towels, flags, or simple beads!
We’re Glad You’re Here
Applause tunnels are an incredible way to welcome students to your school, but they can often leave introverts and others feeling anxious/uncomfortable. Rather than making them mandatory, create a second walkway where students can walk to their seats without the noise. Have a leader stationed at this second space to hand each student a handwritten note. These notes can include phrases like—
“We’re so glad you came!”
“We know the noise isn’t for everyone. We’re thankful you’re here with us!”
“We’re happy to have you as a part of our campus family.”
SAFE Table Races?
Have you seen the video of “table racing” that is going viral at assemblies across the country?
Looking to host the activity while still keeping it safe for students? Don’t worry, we have you covered.
Rather than asking students to sacrifice their bodies and get rolled over by a plastic table, use foam pool noodles! Students race to pass the noodles from one end of the table to the other, helping their table reach the finish line first!
Walkway of Engagement
Club Rush events are a staple at many schools, but they are often anxiety-inducing for introverted/shy students. Establish a low-risk alternative by having club officers create advertisements on a “Walkway of Engagement”. When the walkway is complete, your students can get plenty of information simply by walking from class to class!
Each Monday for the first month of school, have your school’s mascot perform a random act of kindness on campus! Film each kind act and post it to your leadership program’s Instagram account with the caption “Where will (MASCOT NAME) strike next?”
Looking to “go big” to start the school year? Take a page out of Birmingham Charter High School’s book and host a foam party! You can view more by visiting their Instagram account here.