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Meridian student shows off his Yo-Yo superpower

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  • Focus on Students
Meridian student shows off his Yo-Yo superpower

Since January 2021, we have a weekly, virtual, 10 minutes assembly on our spirit day which is Wednesday called "WOW Wednesday". All classes K-5 join a Google Meets call on Wednesday morning for school-wide news, universal SEL instruction, monthly character award announcements and school events/project updates from various staff and students. In the 2022-2023 school year, we added a "Superpower Spotlight" section to our WOW Wednesday.

For this, I invited students and staff to present their "superpower" - sharing what the superpower is and why they think it is a superpower. The superpower focus areas were multilingualism, music, art, technology, athletic, and community service/volunteering superpowers. This addition to WOW Wednesday became wildly popular with students leaving me notes, emailing me, and stopping me in the hall asking to be on WOW to share their superpower! It has had a tremendously positive impact on our school climate and culture! Over the summer of 2023, administration and I brainstormed the 2023-2024 school theme (as we usually do in the summer), and we decided that it would be "Activate Your Superpowers!". We know how powerful inviting students and staff to identify a superpower(s) was, so there's no going back! This year, instead of the same focus areas for the Superpower Spotlight as last year, we are inviting students and staff to share a superpower they are "activating" or developing. This supports the teaching we have done with growth mindset over the past few years and our focus on equity and connection.

We kicked this off in WOW this year with a 5th grade student who came on Superpower Spotlight last year to share his yo-yoing superpower. Then over the summer, he decided to compete for the first time and won the National Championship for the 10-12 sports division! He shared with our students that yo-yoing was not always his superpower, but with hard work, determination, and bravery (to compete), he activated a superpower! He is now starting a yo-yoing club with the PE teacher at our school as well so other students can activate this superpower if they so choose! We record these assemblies and I am happy to provide a full recording. I recently presented this announcement structure to all other district SELS and have received great feedback from them. Many say they are inspired to try new things at their school to build climate and culture like this!

This story exemplifies our ELEVATE Focus Area: Diverse Learning. Sharing stories of how students receive engaging learning experiences and the focused-attention they need through appropriate student-to-staff ratios and varied programming.

  • Meridian Elementary