Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
FAIRFIELD – Fairfield Middle School students are learning how to become leaders through a new program at the school.
The program is known as 'Leader In Me,' and it began last year and has continued picking up steam this year. Middle school Principal Laura Atwood said students are asked to think of a plan to serve others within the school district. The students came up with a number of activities such as writing letters to fourth graders about what to expect when they entered fifth grade.
That activity expanded to include writing letters outside the school, too, to police officers, firefighters and members of the military. Some groups, like the one under the direction of science teacher Cory Klehm, planted seeds and gave them away to community members so they could put them in their garden.
'Our students have done an extensive number of service projects, which are good not just for our school but our community,' Atwood said.
Atwood said the middle school has started a number of new programs in the past year. One that began last year is called 'Trojan Time,' a brief nine-minute class every morning. She said it's a good opportunity for teachers and staff to 'check in' with every student in a small group of seven or eight students. Teachers have been reviewing with students the book 'Seven habits of highly effective teenagers' and how it applies to their lives.
New this year at the middle school is the addition of 'check out' time in the afternoon. The class is even briefer than the morning Trojan Time at just two minutes, and includes the same group of students. Atwood said the afternoon check out time is an opportunity for staff to talk to make sure every student has what they need to go home.
'It's all based on trauma-informed care,' Atwood said. 'We want to ensure every kid has a positive relationship here at school, and if not, we want to get them support.'