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Hello Linwood Community! What an amazing start and first month of school for Seaview and Belhaven students, staff and families! Staff returned on Sept. 3rd and 4th for professional development and opening day was Sept. 5th for our students. It has been an exciting and fast-paced month for our school community as initiatives, programs and activities are in full swing.      

At Seaview Elementary School (home of the Dolphins), our students and staff have engaged in the new positive behavior support program for this year as our children get their "Fins Up!" The program design supports students with positive behavior recognition through Dolphin Dollars for students who are showing respect, responsibility and displaying strong character traits. Through individual student recognitions as well as classroom and grade level acknowledgements, our students are practicing the behaviors that “we want to see” and enhancing the school climate and culture. We are encouraging the expansion of these behaviors not only throughout the school but also beyond the school day at home and in the community as part of our character education programs. So join us Linwood, and get your "Fins Up!"

Just down the bike path, the positive energy can be felt at Belhaven Middle School as well. The Belhaven Falcons are engaged in their drive to get their "Wings Up" this year! The school year began with the unveiling of our school-wide theme from our Student Council Street Teams. Each year our Street Teams work over the summer to decide and develop a new theme and an organization that the staff and students will work to support. This year’s theme is based on a Walt Disney quote: “First, Think. Second, Believe.  Third, Dream. And Finally, Dare.” The year opened with a pep rally and unveiling of the theme as well as the community organization that our students will support throughout the year with drives, collections and community service — the Atlantic City Day Nursery. Our students will be getting their "Wings Up" in support of this theme, this organization and each other.

The best definition of these themes and goals for the year was our district-wide participation in Start With Hello WeekStart With Hello Week is part of the Sandy Hook Promise initiative. It’s described on their website as “a fun, free and easy way to create a culture of inclusion that values each individual at your school. Start With Hello teaches students to make a difference with their peers in a simple, fun and impactful way. They take small but powerful actions to promote connectedness and inclusion and to identify and help lonely students who are showing signs of social isolation.

Start with Hello Week was a huge success in the Linwood schools! Seaview students were greeted on Monday by Belhaven students and on Wednesday by Mainland Regional High School Students — drumline, cheerleaders and football players. On Wednesday each student wore a name tag to learn new names as they walked throughout the school. Students also delivered Dolphin Grams to students in other classes with encouraging notes and pictures. On Friday, the teachers modeled random acts of kindness for the students by delivering little gifts and treats to other staff members throughout the day. We are already excited to begin planning Start with Hello Week next year!

At Belhaven, Start with Hello Week embedded positive and contagious messages throughout the week.  From post-its of encouragement to special welcomes, students internalized the message of inclusion and the power of a hello. The Mainland drumline, cheerleaders and football players were on the road again and brought their encouragement to Belhaven on Friday, Sept. 27; and in fact, on Thursday during band practice students took it upon themselves to give their fellow band members an enthusiastic greeting when they entered the room. It was a special week throughout our schools and the perfect way to end a positive, engaging and supportive first month of school.

What’s up next for our Seaview Dolphins and Belhaven Falcons? Our staff and students will be focusing on a growth mindset and improving each day in all areas while supporting each other, the entire school community and the community at large. Join us throughout the year and get to know more about our schools and the work that our students and staff are committed to each day. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @linwoodschools. #FinsUpWingsUp

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