Point Boro schools celebrate Week of Respect

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During Week of Respect Superintendent Vincent S. Smith led a roundtable with middle and high school students, discussing topics such as school climate, respect and social justice. [COURTESY OF NICOLE HANKINS]

POINT PLEASANT — Point Pleasant School District celebrated Week of Respect with a slew of lesson plans, activities, themed-days and more aimed at promoting togetherness, kindness and fostering a bully-free school environment.

At Point Pleasant Borough High School, themed-days helped highlight the importance of “treating others with respect at all times, especially challenging times such as a pandemic,” according to school leaders.

On Monday students wore blue for World Day of Bullying Prevention. Tuesday was Sock It To Bullying day, with students wearing different socks to respect each other’s differences. Students wore purple Wednesday to promote peace and anti-violence. Bright neon colored attire Thursday supported Let Respect Shine day, while on Friday, students wore the school’s black and gold colors to unite as a Panther family and to foster a positive school culture.

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“Every day begins with a student sharing a message of respect or kindness over the PA system. Each day has a theme and students have been eager to participate,” Principal Kurt Karcich said.

“A more inclusive environment is being emphasized as we help students understand the importance of celebrating diversity. Our Diversity Council, a new club, started on Monday and we have 47 students who have already signed up to be a part of the club.

“We have designated this week as ‘Spirit Week’ as well to bring staff and students together. Both virtual and in person students have contributed to the success of spirit week. The message we are trying to convey is, no matter how big the challenge, we can draw strength from one another and help each other get through this difficult time.”

In addition to themed-days and positive morning announcements, Week of Respect at Memorial Middle School included the Panther Ambassadors joining school counselors to welcome new students during the annual New Student Breakfast and helping to implement activities to help build relationships and build rapport between peers.

“Our daily themes have brought back a sense of fun for them and unity, which was our overall goal,” said Jennifer Kelly, anti-bullying specialist. “Our activities are quieter than in past years due partly to social distancing and the students and staff being inundated with vast changes in daily routines. Our focus is to build on the social connection students and staff have missed while being in quarantine. 

“We are working on strengthening our sense of community. We are all Panthers and we are all here for each other. Every student, staff member and community member matters and we are here to support each other.”

This is an excerpt of the print article. For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.

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