Back To School: Renaissance-Style

It’s the best time of the year — Back to School! We love seeing all the ways schools celebrate and welcome their students and staffulty for the new school year. Check out some of the ways schools across the country are doing it!



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 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. Each year, the graduating numbers are moved up the hallway towards our front exit to indicate the students are one step closer to leaving our building. 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. 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.


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 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!!!


Staffulty are carrying on their new tradition of having a Rally to celebrate being Back to School! Read all about it from Renaissance teacher Beth Mooney:

It’s our second year for our Back to School Rally. Last year I found a DJ through one of our radio stations and I think this adds a whole new level to the rally. We have the students sit by grade level and have our cheerleaders at each section. For the games, we made them teacher vs. student and made sure they were low key and easy for teachers to play even dressed up in their Sunday best. We recognize new Staffulty and even included their walk out songs which I coordinated with the DJ. That was a really fun aspect to the rally! Some teachers really got into it! We also had a half court shot contest to win a TV that was donated. That was also really exciting and fun to watch. It really set the tone for the day of building relationships, focusing on the students and just having fun.

These are just a few examples of ways that schools can implement Renaissance ideas to help renew school climate and culture. For more ways to start the school year with Renaissance, check out your regions social media groups and hashtags! Have your own stories to start the school year? Email them to [email protected] or submit your step-by-step ideas to add to the Idea Exchange.

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