Last week, faculty, staff and administrators from the Hugh B. Bain Middle School community – including the administrators from Arlington and Stadium elementary schools – and representatives of the Cranston Family Center all gathered together to canvas the local neighborhoods, meeting and greeting the incoming sixth-grade students who will be new to Bain in the fall.
Bain’s new principal, Keith Croft, said the event was in the works before he came aboard, and he embraced the concept immediately.
“So many people talked about the neighborhood walks because they’d been a tradition in the past and it was so many people valued that tradition that they wanted to bring it back this year,” Croft said. “One of my goals for the year is focusing on our school culture and strengthening our connections with our families. There is no better way to do that than getting out into the neighborhoods with the students and their families where they lived.”
Croft said the first of the two nights of neighborhood walks drew positive feedback.
“It was very well received the first night. So many people were surprised but happy to see us, and for the students, it was a relief,” he said. “There is a lot of anxiety around the start of a new school year and it’s good for them to see the faculty and staff outside of school. It’s good for them to see that we are making an effort to meet with them outside of school. Including Patricia Caporelli from Arlington Elementary and Cheri Sacco from Stadium Elementary helps to strengthen the connection with their former students and ease the transition to a new school.”
The staff wore T-shirts for the event sporting the message “#BEEXTRA,” which is their motto for the upcoming school year.
“A large portion of our staff attended a two-day workshop in July and a group of our teachers came up with the hashtag of ‘BEEXTRA’ because we realized that everybody can be a little extra this year,” Croft said.
The visits to several hundred houses included not just meeting the students and families, but also inviting the students to the Aug. 28 Welcome Back event and offering them a raffle ticket, giving them a chance at a prize that evening.
Jen Cowart is a communications specialist for Cranston Public Schools.