Welcome Back: Ideas for Teachers & Administrators for Kicking-Off the Second Half of the School Year

Setting Up Students for a Healthy and Successful 2019 School Year

Returning from winter break is an exciting time of the school year; students and teachers return refreshed after a nice holiday away and are excited to see what the second half of the school year holds. After several weeks off, it’s a great idea to get students motivated with special activities to maintain a healthy student body, build school unity, and reinforce the learning goals that you hold as such a high priority in your school community. That’s why we at the Hair Whisperers - Southern California’s most trusted professional lice removers - have created a list of ideas for getting your students excited and ready for the second half of the year.

School Unity Events

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Welcome Back Bash

Getting kids and parents excited for the new year doesn’t have to be a drag. As a matter of fact, we encourage looking to create an exciting event that gets the whole community involved by throwing a “welcome back bash.” The idea here is to host a get together at a local restaurant, in the gymnasium, or (weather permitting) the school parking lot. Have music - live or played on a speaker - games for students and their parents, and giveaways for school t-shirts and supplies to help students get back in the ready-to-learn mindset. Get the community involved by asking for donations from restaurants and local businesses. Students, teachers, and parents will look forward to the event all break long.

B.E.S.T. Day

School unity projects can sometimes be difficult to motivate kids for. That’s why recommend a B.E.S.T day - standing for ‘building excellence in our school together,’ that squeezes a school-wide service project and an exciting event into one. Start the day picking up trash in the community, volunteering at soup kitchens, or putting together care packages for military servicemen and women, and end the day with a dance in the gym or trip to the local park. Students will enjoy the day of fun and bettering to community, and the day will remind them of the fun that exists in the school setting.

Pep Rally

For an easy event that can be scheduled into an otherwise normal school day, plan a back-to-school pep rally. Plan for performances from different teachers and clubs, games of tug-of-war and fun call-and-response games, and part with an inspiring message for student for the second half of the year. Allow the excitement to carry into the following days and weeks, encouraging them to have a successful remainder of the year.

Healthy Students Ideas

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Lice Checks

With winter being a cozy time for students to cuddle up for winter break movie nights and indoor games with friends, winter break was the perfect opportunity for a lice outbreak among your student body. That’s why returning from winter break is the best time to encourage parents to perform at-home lice checks on their students or hire a professional lice removal company to perform lice checks on students. Taking the extra time to make sure a lice outbreak does not occur at your school will save you, your students, and their parents from extra stressors in the new year.

Wellness Speakers

Returning for the new year means students and teachers setting new goals for themselves. A great way to encourage them to maintain healthy habits is by bringing in a school-wide wellness speaker. Depending on the age group of your students, wellness speakers can teach them about healthy diets, remaining drug free, or teach students about the importance of safe sex in an exciting, motivational way. If a speaker is out of the question, showing your students a movie or documentary about the same subject manner is a great way to spark conversation and awareness for your students’ health.

Learning Goals

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Reading Race

A great way to kick off the second half of the school year is with a reading race. Have students compete (by class or grade) to read more age-appropriate books than the others. As the students begin to spend more time reading for fun, their minds will flourish with new ideas while experiencing health competition. Allow the winning team to be treated to a pizza party, ice cream party, or pajama day at the end of the school year for added incentive to keep reading.

Raising Grade Incentives

The second half of the year, by many, is looked at as a fresh start for students to raise their grades and finish the school year strong. To encourage students to work harder, create a ‘Raising grade’ incentive program. Ask members of the community for a variety of raffle prizes - ranging from movie tickets, gift cards to restaurants, toys, and more - that will be raffled off to students who raise their grades. Here’s a recommended breakdown of how to assign raffle tickets:

  • 1 Raffle ticket for every letter grade raised in each subject (going from a C to an A in english = 2 tickets, going from a B to an A in Math = 1 ticket)
  • Maintaining an existing A in a class = 2 raffle tickets
  • Maintaining an existing B in a class = 1 raffle ticket.
  • Teachers can assign raffle tickets for excellent projects or improvement as they see fit

At the end of the year - or quarter - draw raffle tickets and reward students for their hard work!

Teacher Appreciation Days

Everyone knows that a great way to inspire children to learn is by teaching them to appreciate their educators. This can be done in many ways, including teacher appreciation days or a teacher appreciation week. Allow teachers to spend a day teaching their students something new, enjoying a special snack with their students, or writing letters to their favorite teachers. Fill your hallways with posters made by each classroom decorated with comments about their teacher’s best qualities and favorite things. As your students take time to appreciate their teacher’s job, they will become more inclined to work hard for the remainder of the year.

As the second half of the school year commences, it can be difficult to motivate students for the months ahead. As educators, it’s our job to make school a safe and fun learning environment. As you try out some of these ideas, make sure to take the time to ensure your students are not only happy, but also in tip-top health and hygiene with lice checks from the Hair Whisperers. Learn more about out in-school service on our site and get excited for the second half of the year.


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