Using ideas from Amber & Melinda’s facebook group, we created a daily lineup of Holiday TUNES that would reveal a surprise for the day. Each daily note was sent via email, as it included the holiday song!
IMG_0411 <—-here’s an example of what the staff would receive via email
Here were some pictures of our surprises in the lounge:
This year, our district also mailed all of our students’ families a holiday card, with photos of all district employees, wishing our families a joyful holiday season. Again, this idea originated from Melinda Miller, who sends a holiday card to her school families. Instead of each of our 3 district schools sending their own individual cards, we decided to team up and create one district holiday card!
As a school, we were committed to ensuring each our little Kubbies received snail mail over the 2 week winter-break from someone that misses them and can’t wait to see them again soon! (It was also a way to remind parents of the day school resumes after a long 2-week break). We took advantage of a VistaPrint 50% off sale, and ordered 1,000 postcards, with our mascot Kubbie donning a santa hat! Each staff member was charged to ensure that all of our students received some love over Winter Break!
Knowing that our parents & students were all going to be receiving snail mail LOVE over winter break, I knew we had to find a way to surprise the most hard-working staff, too! In August, when staff completed their “Getting to Know You” survey (email me, if you’d like to see a copy), one of the questions they answer is for the name and address of someone special in their life (idea borrowed from Todd Nesloney). We took this chance to not only write a card, expressing to their “loved one” how grateful we are to have them on our teaching staff, but we also enclosed a photo of that staff member, working with kids, doing what they love! Did this take some time to complete for 100 staff members? Sure…..the result — priceless.
Each card had the same enclosure on the inside and a small token of appreciation for that staff members’ impact on our school community.
Just a few responses from staff:
“Thank you for the card you sent my family! It meant the world to them and myself! I’m so grateful to be at Kennedy with you!”
“My mom called me crying about a card and picture she got today. Thank you.”
“From the bottom of my heart, I wanted to thank you for the Christmas card that you sent to my mom. It was a sweet surprise to see it today.”
“Just wanted to tell you my mom loved the Xmas card you sent out to them! She thought it was very thoughtful and special that you did that. Thank you.”
Another new idea we tried out this year was Kids’ Night Out/Parents Night Off! This event provided our parents/families with a night out (3 hours) without their kids; whether they needed to do some last-minute-holiday-shopping, stay home to wrap gifts, or even if they wanted a date night! Parents were able to drop off their children at school and our staff members planned a fun evening with activities, games, and dinner! It was an awesome fundraiser for our school, and I think our parents truly appreciated this opportunity!