Opening a new school is exciting. However, this excitement doesn't come without a few "pains".
I inherented a new school, mid year of the school's first year. My situation was uniques in that the school doubled in size, a new bilingual component was added, and lots of new staff were hired. This created three diferent staff within the building (bilingual, "old timers", and new folks). It was quite an interesting process getting them all on the sma epage, and to tell you the truth, it took a few years for us to get it together.
What I did was to have numerous discussion about what the school was about and what we wanted to be. We worked hard to establish our "new identity" and we spent considerable time getting to know each other. This included specific grade level activities.
Then I made a "BIG DEAL" about having a new school to the kids and their families. This included a series of open houses for the community. Students/teachers were also asked to make their wing of the school "unique". This included specific art work, curriculum related displays, etc.We also started a school wide and grade level assembly program to celebrate and acknowledge what was going on in the school. Whenever appropiate, the press was notified and asked to attend.
I don't know if any of these ideas will help, but for me, they were effective in brining everyone together, helped build a community, helped the staff get on the same page. Most importantly, it created a sense of pride in the halls which helped us build our school culture.
Let me know if you would like additional suggestions. Good luck and enjoy the process of creating your new school!!
Woodrow WIlson School
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