In Fletcher, It’s All About Community

Target – Leadership in a Student Centered Learning Environment. FWSU will foster development of teacher and student leaders who provide innovative opportunities for local and global student-centered learning.

Action Step – Provide multiple avenues for students and staff to lead, advocate and serve within the school and community.

Indicators of Success – (1) Teachers embrace the role of coach, facilitator and co-learner in a student-centered learning environment. (2) Student voice will have the power to impact the perception of others.

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Holidays can be challenging in schools. Children very much look forward to celebrating various calendar landmarks, but schools often struggle with how to approach these days while maintaining respect and courtesy to everyone’s beliefs.

For Fletcher’s fifth and sixth graders, themes like community, leadership, helpfulness and role-modeling run through many of the students’ decisions about how they approach holidays.

Take today, for example. Students are always excited about Valentine’s Day and the sweet treats that accompany it. However, in developing a deeper meaning and turning a small part of their morning into a rich learning experience for both themselves and their younger schoolmates, our oldest students hosted the preschoolers and kindergartens for a Valentine’s gathering that incorporated literacy, the arts and a myriad of social skills.

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“I really feel like by doing this I got a bigger connection with individual younger students. They might have been afraid of bigger kids and by doing this they learned that inside we are nice people and that we want to help them,” fifth grader Mabel Osgood said.

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The fifth and sixth graders greeted the younger guests, read them Valentines books that they hand selected from the library, supported them with art projects and served them a few sweet treats.

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“This was a good experience for both the youngers and the olders to get to know each other and have a bond,” sixth grader Adam Degree said. “That is important because we want them to know that we are here for them and that we are their friends.”

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“This was a great experience. Now that we have spent the time to sit down and talk they know us just a little bit better,” fifth grader Emma Sweet said.

“I enjoyed this a lot. I really liked being able to help and do things with the kindergartener that I was with. I enjoyed his company and I am really glad that I had this opportunity to make a new friend,” sixth grader Sebrina Short said.

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According to their teachers, the fifth and sixth graders are learning to consistently model courtesy and respect, key elements of being a great host and good friend.

“They are working hard at showing the younger students what it looks and sounds like to be a caring community member,” teacher Jasmine Tremblay said. “I am incredibly proud of how they have taken care of their guests and turned what might have ordinarily been less of a learning experience into something that was really meaningful for everyone involved.”

“I learned that everybody in the school is important to our community,” fifth grader Kiersten Cardinal said. “And we are leading the way to show that.”

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