As part of the discourse engaged in this year by faculty and staff members of the Wheeler Avenue School’s shared decision-making team, core values of the school were a major topic of discussion. Being that the Wheeler Avenue School mascot is a Blue Jay, the school came up with the tagline “The NEST.” In essence, at Wheeler, the younger students or “Blue Jays” come to the “nest,” and the 6th graders are flying from the “nest” as they move further in their education journey. NEST focuses on what Wheeler does as a school—Nurture, Encourage, Support, and work as a Team. Faculty and staff also wanted to have student character traits incorporated into the initiative that they felt were important.
In the NEST, the students are Courteous, Honest, Inspiring, Respectful, and Proud – CHIRP. To do a soft rollout of the message and the campaign, it was decided that the first CHIRPer award of the Month would be for a student in each grade level who demonstrated outstanding courteousness. The teachers looked at and examined their students’ interactions with peers and adults in different settings. They looked at their character in recess, lunch, class, and in specials (gym, art, etc.). Students selected at each grade level took pictures with a sign that read, “I CHIRP @ The NEST.” For the next four months, the CHIRPer award will be given for a different trait in the CHIRP. For the 2020-2021 school year, it is anticipated that each month’s CHIRPer awards will be given to a student in each grade level who best demonstrates all the character traits in that month.
The Valley Stream Union Free School District Thirteen continues to offer students opportunities to give back to their peers and school community and experience the positive impact that small acts of kindness can have on others.