Fostering Connections

Middle schoolers come together at Community Day.
Middle school students banded together with one another and their teachers to build unity on the first annual Middle School Community Day.

“Before students fully jump into the new academic year, we wanted every girl to feel welcomed and connected to her classmates, teachers and fellow middle school students. We wanted to dedicate time to fostering these connections at the start of the year,” said Deborah Farmer Kris, Associate Director of the Montrose LifeCompass Institute.

“We know that when students feel safe and welcome, they are more likely to take those academic risks that will benefit their learning,” she added. “By increasing their comfort level, it will allow them to thrive academically.”

The girls started the day with a team-building activity, then broke into cross-grade teams, led by 8th grade students. While one group practiced reciting each other’s names, another discussed what good habits of mind would help them juggle the academic, co-curricular and social demands of middle school. Packs of girls toured the school on a campus-wide scavenger hunt to meet staff members, practiced creative strategies in a Design Thinking workshop and played improv games on Miracle Field.

At the end of the day, the girls reflected on what they had gained from the day. “This process is key part of the learning process at Montrose, where girls learn to reflect, recalibrate and respond, as they develop a life compass,” said Mrs. Kris.