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Teachers, Students Brainstorm Ways to Continue Momentum from Challenge Day

In February, hundreds of middle and high school students participated in Challenge Day, an extensive workshop focused on building a school culture of acceptance, empathy, and connection.

The result, says KHS teacher Michelle Peterson, was connections built between peer groups and increased empathy across the school population.

Now, teachers and students are brainstorming ways to keep the momentum going. This semester, Mrs. Peterson and KMS counselor Olivia Bradford hosted a group of student stakeholders to pick their brains.

"We came up with a list four pages long of things that they want to see happen to keep our school culture or to change our school culture, to make people feel welcome in the building and in their classrooms," said Mrs. Peterson.

The list includes ideas like...

  • Putting conversation cards on lunch tables

  • Assigning mentors to freshmen

  • Creating safe spaces for students to use during times of feeling overwhelmed

  • Holding an all-school assembly on the first day of school

  • Adding more internal student recognition (birthdays, athletic and academic achievements, and more)

  • Implementing lessons about stress management and mindfulness into the school day

  • One-on-one teacher-student check-ins

  • Putting up posters with encouraging messages

Students and teachers alike expressed their interest in hosting Challenge Day or Challenge Day-like activities in the future.

"I think it could be more of a regular thing, where we get to get out our feelings and connect with people," said Mrs. Peterson. "I think if you can build that culture it can continue."


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