Colchester High School will host a first-ever Variety Night in March that will be open to the entire Colchester community. Why? Because it is yet another avenue to foster community spirit and a sense of unity among our friends and neighbors. Along with promoting greater opportunities for meaningful and powerful learning experiences, positive learning environments help to foster healthy relationships and a sense of community and fair play. Community members—both within and surrounding the school—can develop a greater sense of pride, which in turn encourages neighborly relationships in which everyone gets to know and looks out for one another, thereby creating safer places to grow and learn. Research has indicated that students are more likely to succeed in school when they experience a positive sense of belonging and when they feel that they are part of something greater, and parents and citizens are more likely to take active roles in their schools when they feel that the overall atmosphere is positive, inviting, and inspiring. Working hard to improve school climates has important, far-reaching implications for entire communities.
As a preliminary activity to the upcoming Variety Night, the CHS faculty introduced a twenty-five-minute skit—which included singing and dancing!—to CHS students as a way of encouraging them to craft their own class skits for the Colchester community. The project was brainstormed by CHS teachers Aimee deLaricheliere and Dennis Akey, who wrote the script and organized the CHS faculty for the project. “It was most definitely a group effort—over thirty faculty made our production happen,” Ms. deLaricheliere said.
Ms. deLaricheliere and Mr. Akey first proposed the Variety Night concept, which is based upon South Burlington High School’s Talent Night, nearly a year ago as another school spirit activity for CHS. “Faculty members have volunteered to sponsor each of the classes to help them with the process,” Ms. deLaricheliere said. “I’ve been hearing lots of good buzz from the students thus far.”
There are quite a number of requirements and guidelines for participation, which entails the four CHS classes competing against one another. For example, the Variety Night productions must be original skits, and the writing, scenery, choreography, and direction must be done by the students. The skits must embody the elements of respect, responsibility, and pride. There are time requirements, props requirements, script requirements …
“The ultimate goal for the students should be self-rewarding, learning to work together, developing class spirit and unity, and a sense of accomplishment,” state the guidelines. The performers will be judged based upon their compliance with the requirements, and there will be awards for a variety of categories.
The CHS faculty’s skit for the students was a well-kept secret … and it is certainly not the first time that the CHS faculty has come together in the interest of promoting school spirit. Students attending a pep rally last year received a hilarious surprise when the faculty unveiled a flash mob involving a choreographed dance. (Please click here to read more about it and to watch a video of the faculty in action!) CHS has also hosted a charitable hair-cutting event; community tailgate celebrations; fundraising, gift drive, and food drive events; and more.
Every single one of your schools, in fact, actively engages in community-building and community-supporting activities. Both Colchester High School and Colchester Middle School participate in the Burlington Penguin Plunge, and CMS boasts student-created murals throughout the school. CMS also hosts other community-building events, such as anti-bullying campaigns, participation in National Mix-It-Up at Lunch Day, throwing a surprise birthday party for a beloved cook, and more.
Porters Point School successfully implemented Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) into its curriculum as part of its strategy to enhance school climate, and Union Memorial School has hosted the NED Show, the ultimate purpose of which is to assist with improving schools’ overall academic climate in a variety of ways. The principals of PPS, UMS, and MBS even good-naturedly offered themselves up as dunk-tank bait for a little league hit-a-thon event last year.
We’re all in this together.
And we’re looking forward to Variety Night on March 14 beginning at 7:00 p.m. at CHS … mark your calendars!
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