Postponement of Events
Most all schools have entered into a holding pattern for some of the largest and most important end of the year events. With events like prom, award ceremonies and commencement there may be no way to facilitate a digital replacement. Many schools are currently looking into alternative dates into the summer. Based on new information and guidance from state mandates, postponing these events may be the most appropriate and feasible recommendation. The hardest part of making this decision is not knowing how long our “stay safe, stay home” executive order will last. Creating a digital piece that families can access for honors or commencement may help fill a void while honoring your students until more information is released.
Using your school’s social media or communication system, begin including a senior spotlight. Most of the information needed to create these graphics has already been collected from your Yearbook program. You can also extend this addition by adding “Senior Night” pictures for athletes, thespians, band students and others that may be in jeopardy to miss that final recognition. There are many free programs and apps you can use to edit fonts, add verbiage and make a consistent theme recognizing outstanding students. Canva is a great tool and easy to use.
Honors and Award Program
This same idea can be applied to your school’s award programs. Depending on the length of the extended closure, schools need to be prepared to recognize outstanding student achievement in a non-traditional way. Hosting a livecast can be a fun way to earn viewership and still honor your student body (think- Oscars). Create award graphics and a slideshow deck with pictures and student names and invite your learning community to take part in a creative recognition program. Award certificates and plaques can be ordered and shipped directly to students or showcased during the virtual presentation, holding until school resumes.
Honoring Senior & Spring Student/Athletes
The schools in the KLAA athletic league have a number of initiatives underway to recognize student/athletes. Here are some options to consider from Novi HS:
Families are decorating the front door of their home for their Senior.
Video compilations of winter team highlights to help provide closure for the season ending without completion:
Social media posts highlighting Senior spring athletes:
2019-20 Year Highlights Slide Show
Calling all photographers! Another easy and impactful school recognition piece is an all call for students, parents and staff to send in pictures from the current school year. You can ask for quick explanations with each submission, go through the calendar and ask for pictures month to month, seperate pictures by athletic, academic, clubs/groups or make it a fun free for all.
Jostens has opened up their entire video catalog series (The Harbor) as well as their leadership curriculum to all schools. To access their information head to https://www.jostensrenaissance.com/
Compiled by Wendy Zdeb, MASSP Executive Director