District Superintendent Mary Beth Scherer said the new program is designed "to amp up enthusiasm for school and help students take ownership (of their education) and have a sense of belonging."
Oriole Strong will encourage teachers to focus on the positive achievements of students and to foster stronger relationships. It will also help connect high school students with elementary students by increasing their interactions. Scherer said high schoolers will be spending more time tutoring and helping at the elementary school.
Scherer said the seventh- through twelfth-grade classes at Concordia High School (CHS) will have class mottos and the elementary school will have one motto.
Scherer said the motto will relate to each of the classes, but will end with "strong." For example, the senior class motto is "Finish Strong" and the employee motto is "Staff Strong."
Another element of Oriole Strong is community involvement. Scherer said the district will try to get its students more involved with the community through volunteering and completing service projects.
At an assembly last Wednesday morning, all staff in the district wore bright green shirts with "Oriole Strong" written on the front and "Staff Strong" on the back. CHS Student Counselor Kim Brunkhorst introduced the program to students and led them through a new series of chants reflecting Oriole Strong.
Scherer said Oriole Strong is still in the beginning stages and needs several weeks of planning and discussion before a full blueprint of the program will be completed.
It will replace the program Fish, which focused mostly on staff attitude toward students. Scherer said Fish did not have any specific activities, which is something that will change with Oriole Strong.