It’s the best time of the year — Back to School! And that is something to celebrate! If you are looking for some new ideas, check out our top 10 back to school ideas that Renaissance schools do to get the school year started on a high note.


Idea #1

Get to know your newest Staffulty members, and help them know that they are seen, heard, and loved on your campus by doing this activity!

Idea #2

Add a little extra something to everyone’s “First Day of School” photos by creating a photo booth that everyone can have fun with – Staffulty, students, and parents! Check out this awesome Idea Exchange idea submitted by LaSalle-Peru High School.

photo booth

Idea #3

This episode of The Green Room provides lots of ideas for making the first days of school special for both students and staffulty. Watch it as a staff and then use the accompanying Action Planning guide to make it happen!

Idea #4

A great way to make all people at your school feel like welcome is chalking up your sidewalk – that way they know they belong before they event step foot in the building! Check out the beautiful art that Dan Carragher and his team at Sabin Middle School did to make Staffulty feel at home before students were even in the building.

Resetting a school and it’s culture starts with the most valuable players- our teachers!!! Sabin Middle School can’t thank or welcome ours enough!!!

back to school

Idea #5

The Renaissance team at Henderson County High School started their year off  with a Commitment to Graduate event, having their new freshmen create their class’s mural! Hear about this tradition from Ginger Stovall:

Each year during Freshman Orientation, we ask our incoming freshman to Commit to Graduate by first repeating our 3 C’s Pledge about how they will be Committed, Caring, and Confident Colonels. After repeating the pledge, they place their handprint on one their graduating numbers to signify their commitment to graduate. These graduating numbers are then placed in the main hallway to be displayed all 180 days of the school year and all 720 days until their graduation. The student’s Senior year, the numbers are taken down in the middle of the night before Senior Walk and moved to the stage at Graduation.

It all comes full circle: As student’s come into our building on their first day at Freshman Orientation, there was a blank space at one end waiting on their handprints. As student’s leave our building on their last day during Senior Walk, there is a blank space at the other end. The next time the students see these numbers, they are on their stage at graduation.

Idea #6

Who said that Dress Up Days are just for Spirit Week? Start the year off with some immediate fun by having a dress up day – and it doesn’t have to be complicated! It could be as simple as dressing up in school colors.

Idea #7

Set the bar for academic achievement by announcing the criteria for Renaissance Cards or Student of the Month. Don’t keep the criteria a secret!

renaissance card

Idea #8

Thousands of teens enter their first year of high school – and that can bring up a lot of emotions, including fear! Have a Freshmen Class Orientation to help soothe some nerves, and show this video of The Harbor. 

Idea #9

Have a “Back to School Night BBQ” that your entire community can attend to celebrate this time of year, and help welcome anyone new to your community. This can also be a great fundraiser for your school of Renaissance program! Check out this Idea Exchange from Clear Creek Middle & High School here.

Back to School BBQ

Idea #10

And last but not least, make sure to review the criteria to start a School of Distinction application! Jostens schools can apply to be either Silver, Gold, or Platinum by documenting and reflecting on their Renaissance programing for the entire school year. All recipient schools receive tangible awards and are recognized at the Jostens Renaissance Global Conference for their achievement.

2022 School of Distinction


If you are a Jostens customer and you need a login to access all the resources on, email your rep or click here.

If you don’t currently partner with Jostens for yearbooks or graduation regalia or other celebratory products, you can learn more here.

Member Login
Forgot Password?
Not a member yet? Click Here