At Ridgeview Elementary, school connectedness is a primary focus. The focus in school connectedness is on creating a school community where everyone feels safe and supported, where students are supported in developing strong positive relationships among students, between staff and the larger community, and where students are provided with diverse opportunities to explore and learn.
The research is strong and consistent; students who feel connected to school do better academically and are healthier.
Building a sense of community and connectedness to school is established in part through the use of routines. One example of a schoolwide routine at Ridgeview is the playing of the National anthem prior to announcements each day. When the anthem is played on the public announcement aystem, students, staff, and visitors are expected to stop and acknowledge the anthem. The intent of this meaningful morning ritual is to share with students and the broader community the safety expectations, and announce new learning opportunities and special events of the day. This routine sets the tone for the day.
Unique routines and ritualized class celebrations contribute to a child’s sense of community and belonging.
Many student connections spring from individual action on the part of both teachers and administrators. Teachers are obviously central to the equation. Clear classroom structures and consistent expectations for behaviour and performance provide a healthy setting in which students can exercise autonomy and practice decision-making skills. Teachers also build connectedness in the classroom when they encourage team learning exercises. This extends to extra curricular activities where students can further explore learning outside of the classroom environment.
At Ridgeview, students are provided many opportunities to explore and learn. All opportunities are intended to support student belonging and connectedness to school. When students feel connected to school they succeed.
What are some of the ways your child connects to life at school?