We have been in school two days (with students) and so far it has been great. Prior to students coming back I decorated the sidewalks and entrances with chalk. Even the high school/middle school students enjoyed seeing it! My goal this year is to help make everyone feel appreciated. Our school lost three teachers (retirement or moving out of state) and no replacements were hired. That means teachers left here had to absorb those classes (English and Science at the high school level and remediation at high school and middle school levels). Instead of teaching some of the electives they've taught for years or subjects they love teaching, they had to be moved into core areas as their certification permitted. Many are unhappy, but chose to come back here anyway. I'm told our budget is tight, tight, tight. So, my goal is to show appreciation and be some encouragement to everyone, staff and students alike. Due to this new avenue I decided to make tiny cupcakes for the entire staff, (bus drivers, maintenance, teachers, secretaries, aides, and administration), and put labels on water bottles. I put notes on everyone's door before I left the day before school. When I got to school the next day, I put the cupcakes and water in the lounge for everyone to pick up as they signed or checked in. It was so much fun! I got the cupcake toppers and the water bottle labels on www.thenewprincipalprinciples.blogspot.com. She did something similar for her staff last year. She was kind enough to update everything and make them available for download (free) this year. I am looking forward to the year and how I make an impact (again) here. I already have Career Cafe in the works and will introduce Lunch Bunch in addition to that. I have a Girls' Night Out planned for one of the elementary grades. When the weather turns colder and students are sitting in the cafeteria (high school and middle school) I plan on breaking out my dry erase boards and hosting some trivia games where tables compete for a small prize (candy). I'm not sure what else I'll be able to squeeze in to the year. I still have a lot of administrative duties on top of any counseling, college and career planning and student services.