'WE are In This Together' Evident at Adena

WE are In This Together Evident in the Adena Way
Posted on 08/21/2019
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Girl receiving high-fives as she enters schoolCheers, high-fives and well wishes. All of these were in abundance at Adena Elementary’s fanfare on the second day of school, showing community and school support for the students. 

“It’s been wonderful continuing our tradition that we began two years ago by having our student fanfare on the first Friday (of the school year),” said Adena Principal John Mattingly. Parents and staff were joined by members of the West Chester police and fire departments. It was “such an exciting way to engage our students, families and the West Chester community, propelling us into an awesome school year,” Mattingly continued. “The energy is infectious.” 

Like the other 22 schools in the district, Adena’s focus for the first two days was on building relationships and a sense of community. Games like “Would You Rather” and “Minute To Win It” helped students get to know one another. Technology was also brought into play as students answered trivia questions about staff members on Kahoot, which Mattingly thought was “hilarious.”

Bringing the concept of the popular escape rooms into play, students in Tonya Dull’s class were able to ‘Escape the Back to School Blues.’ “It began with a lead-in about missing summer, but planning for a great school year,” said Dull. Students had to solve clues that revealed lock combinations. The clues included community building topics such as E+R=O (an event + your response = the outcome), being a good friend and helping one another. There was also a bingo board that had students asking one another about life experiences. “All (of the) students were encouraged to work together,” Dull said. “It helped to build relationships and cooperative learning.”

In Melissa Doll’s fifth grade class, students created secret messages using coding that expressed the ‘Adena way.’ “The students assigned a symbol to each letter of the alphabet and then used the symbols to create the message,” Doll explained. “One of my groups used Arabic letters matched to the ABCs to create their message (which spelled out) ‘treat others how you want to be treated.’ The students loved creating coded messages for each other.” 

Talking about the Adena Way is a regular conversation at the school. “The focus has been on we may not live in the same house, but we are one school and we are family. We are Team Adena,” said Mattingly. “We have everyone’s back and ask all of our kids to take care of each other so that no one is excluded and everyone is part of things and connected. If someone is lonely on the playground or if someone has tears, we teach our kids to go to them and help,” he continued. “We focus on planting the seed in our students that we want them to ‘do the right thing’, even when no one is looking.”