I introduced a new cheer to our students during our fall State of the Eagles Address and then again at our Homecoming Pep Rally. The students really got into it, which was demonstrated by members of our student body who led the cheer at some of our sporting events! When I included it our Homecoming Pep Rally class competition, many left wondering, “What is the meaning of the Renaissance cheer?”
Jostens Renaissance is a research-based school climate and culture framework that focuses on recognizing, respecting, rewarding, and reinforcing positive behaviors, such as academics, attendance, character, and student and staff engagement. It is proven that when positive behaviors are respected, recognized, rewarded, and reinforced, positives results continue.
Through Renaissance, pep rallies focus on public recognition of what I call the 7 A’s of successful schools: academics, attendance, attitude (behavior), the arts, athletics, acts of service, and activities. Traditional pep rallies primarily recognize athletes.
Based on the results of the PRIDE Factor survey we conducted last spring, there is a need to provide more opportunities to privately and publicly recognize individuals and groups for positive behavior and performance. Instead of stating, “We are now going to have a Jostens Renaissance program”, I decided to ease it into what we do as a school so that it’s not viewed as “one more thing we have to do.”
We are slowly creating our Renaissance recognition criteria that will be based on students’ progress and achievement, behavior, and attendance. The cheer is something that a number of Renaissance schools do as a unifying cheer. I thought it would be good for NAHS to use the Renaissance cheer to proudly come together and celebrate what we have always been and will continue to be about: student achievement, student growth, and student well-being.
By definition, renaissance means rebirth, and with the cheer, there is a rebirth in our school spirit and pride that comes from celebrating our successes, recognizing our continuous improvement, and creating a sense of belong for all students and staff. At the same time, it’s important to understand that school spirit doesn’t primarily come from wearing school colors or loud cheers. According to Mark White (@MarkWhite55), school spirit comes from a sense of belonging. I couldn’t agree more.