This year’s high school Public Speaking course includes a civics focus, including instruction on presenting a thoughtful proposal to authority. The students in the class began by setting up a suggestion box in the McLain building to collect feedback from the rest of the middle and high school community. The class then spent time reading the suggestions and evaluating them to determine if any were worthy of bringing to the administration for approval. The class members identified one suggestion as meeting a need with which they agreed—a perceived division between the secondary students and the faculty and staff members.
Several years ago everyone—staff and students—was allowed to dress casually when we had a late opening due to inclement weather. As updates were made to the overall dress-code approach, these types of “casual dress days” were replaced by Theme Days and CCS Spirit Days. Therefore, students no longer received the privilege of dressing casually on late openings. However, when considering the personal responsibilities of adults and staff members (on snowy mornings), teachers were still allowed to dress casually on these days. The Public Speaking students learned that this stance created a feeling of unfairness and created a perception of division between the secondary students and staff.
The Public Speaking students agreed that this division was unfortunate, and they wanted to draft a proposal that would eliminate the divide while also creating a spirit of unity, school spirit, and some “fun” traditions for our school body as a whole. Therefore, the class prepared a presentation for Mrs. Snyder. During the presentation the class members not only practiced their public speaking skills but also learned about the give-and-take that is often a part of reaching an agreed-upon solution. Mrs. Snyder then considered the proposal and even brought it before the full faculty for discussion.
The result? Students and teachers may now dress in School Spirit attire when we have a late opening due to inclement weather. Students and staff may wear any CCS tops (Spirit Wear shirts, P.E. shirts, Theme Shirts—current or past—CCS hoodies, CCS fleece) and casual bottoms, including CCS sweat pants. The students and staff are hopeful that everyone will enjoy this privilege and that it will add an increased sense of school spirit and fun to our school community.