Opening Day Assembly Provides Learning, Smiles for Staff
Over three hundred employees of the Homer Central School District participated kicked off the school year in style on Tuesday at Homer High School at an opening day assembly.
The day began with a quick introduction in the auditorium where Homer Superintendent Thomas Turck gave a warm welcome to the staff for the new school year. The staff then split up in to groups for a day of fun and learning. The activities focused on the three primary focuses of the Homer strategic plan: community engagement, student engagement, and social-emotional learning. Staff participated in workshops in addition to a scavenger hunt that included putting puzzles together as a team and hunting on twitter for clues to the next location on campus.
“In order to handle planning an event for over three hundred employees we had to utilize some different spaces and some different activities,” Homer Director of Instruction Ted Love said. “Today we not only had workshop-style engaging sessions in social-emotional learning and student engagement, but we also included a scavenger hunt activity focusing on community engagement.”
The assembly is a different approach from a traditional setting of being in the auditorium all day, something that Love says the staff enjoys.
“We’ve heard a lot of positive feedback from staff,” Love said. “Compared to a traditional auditorium-style presentation where the staff are just receiving the information, we thought it was best to model the day after the same instructional practices we want to see in the classroom which is being hands-on and getting the students involved.”
Love knew the day would be successful because of the character of the wonderful staff at Homer in putting students first.
“The staff at Homer are incredible,” Love said. “Some of the things I’ve enjoyed in my time here is their commitment to kids and their willingness to participate in things like today’s activities. Our staff always shows up and gives 100 percent. It demonstrates to our students a culture of learning that starts with the staff.”
From top to bottom, Love said the day was a effective and educational and was very thankful to everyone involved.
“The work really has been driven by our Superintendent of Schools, Thomas Turck,” Love said. “His vision for where we are headed is really inspiring while maintaining a grounded connection to our values as a school district. Our Board of Education has also been extremely supportive in helping the administrative team carry out this vision.”
Opening day reconnected teachers as they hugged one another and shared stories from the summer, showing a bond that has Love excited for the year to come.
“It’s going to be a great school year,” Love smiled. “I love watching staff come back in the building and seeing the hall filled with energy and excitement with people reconnecting. The work we do is not just professional, it is also personal. Watching educators support each other is one of the most rewarding aspects of this work.”