Establishing valuable school atmosphere has always been one of the most important factors in Foran High School. Many actions have been taken to strengthen school climate, but there are always ways to improve. A few select students and teachers decided to take initiative and find new ways to create this positive school atmosphere. Juniors, TJ Stuart and Julia Silvestri, attended a conference at Newington High School ran by the anti-defamation league and found ways to improve on this issue.
Stuart said, “The goal of the conference was to raise awareness of how to increase school climate. We learned how to improve school pride, be an ally to people, and how to create a good atmosphere so students can enjoy coming to school.” Stuart says one of the most important things they learned was how to use social media to spread light about certain causes and fundraisers. Millions of people, especially high school students, use twitter every day to find out world and local events, sport updates, and also just to see what friends are up to. Though, some of the down sides to social media are that some of the information that is put out there can cause conflict between students and therefore can cause bullying. Silvestri says, “By creating accounts that promote school pride and events that students can attend, it will build a stronger atmosphere and a more helpful and positive way to use social media. Mr. Brennan, Dean of Students at Foran High School, also attended the conference. Brennan was able to collect useful information in order to help the school climate and increase teacher and student relationships. Brennan states, “Foran High is a great school with many great students. The goal of us attending the workshop was so that students and teachers can work together to bring us to the next level.” The students, who attended the conference and Mr. Brennan, thought of a perfect way to do so. They created the, “Foran Climate Control Club” in which its purpose is to create a connection between students and teachers and to make sure school is a place where everyone wants to come. The goal of the club is to increase school spirit but also to help solve student concerns and create an overall positive atmosphere.
Another very important concept that was taken from the conference was how to be an ally to everyone. At Foran we have a zero tolerance policy for bullying. Decreasing the negative energy in Foran and forming strong relationships with students, peers, and teachers will not only help to create a better school climate but will also provide a helping hand for people who have experienced or are experiencing bullying.
Stuart and Silvestri both share that, “Going to this conference was remarkably helpful and the information we learned is only going to help make Foran a better place for not only the students, but everyone as a whole.”