Starting a New School Year by Building Community

Starting a New School Year by Building Community
Published on 09/15/2023
Terryville students and Dr. Quinn in the 5th grade hallway on the first day of school

The Comsewogue School District kicked off the new school year with a series of STEAM activities, mindfulness exercises and other engaging classroom activities geared towards building community and setting a strong foundation for the school year ahead. All staff and students also began the year by reading Jon Gordon’s The Energy Bus or The Energy Bus for Kids, both of which impart lessons on spreading positive energy to achieve your goals.

“Our first two days back at school are devoted to transitional activities. We spend those days focusing on social-emotional learning and getting to know each other. We believe this establishes a strong foundation for the rest of the school year and helps our students become more confident, ready and willing to take on the new year,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jennifer Quinn. “By reading The Energy Bus, we aim to inspire everyone in the District to approach every task or challenge with optimism and positive energy.”

Dr. Quinn greeted students at all the District’s schools and personally read The Energy Bus aloud to students in each building. Teachers at all schools led team-building activities for students to get to know each other and bring together their diverse talents to reach common goals.

One of the activities engaged in during these first two days of school involved groups of students discussing what they had in common, writing their similarities on index cards, and then building the tallest tower in the class out of their cards. Another activity was a STEAM challenge in which students were tasked with stacking cups using only a rubber band and strings. Other activities included scavenger hunts, word games and puzzles. JFK Middle School students also painted rocks with words of encouragement and placed the rocks throughout the school for their peers to see all year.