South Orangetown Central School District

This week, William O. Schaefer Elementary School is celebrating #StartWithHelloWeek in a variety of ways including themed spirit days and classroom activities.

“Start with Hello week is a prevention program that teaches even our youngest students how to be socially inclusive and make connections with each other. This week students and staff at WOS are taking steps in class, the lunchroom, and recess to be inclusive and connected,” explained WOS School Counselor Tennille Marino. “During morning meeting, students are learning ways to initiate conversations, give compliments, include peers in play, and to identify characteristics they look for in friends.  As a school we are teaching students the first step can be as simple as starting with “hello.” I am also taking this week as an opportunity to push into classrooms to introduce myself and to explain my role at WOS.”

On Tuesday, Marino along with WOS Principal Sheila Beglin, Assistant Principal Brian Galvin and School Psychologists Lisa Murphy and Sheyna Ehrenreich held a new student check-in for first and second grade students that are new to SOCSD. Students broke into small groups to learn more about each other and Beglin and Galvin emphasized that everyone at WOS is there to help them and support them as they transition into a new school.

Marino has been visiting classrooms throughout the week to introduce herself and explain what her role is at WOS. She read the book, “A Rabbit Listened,” which is a book about empathy and kindness and explained how she is like the rabbit in the story because she is always available to listen and help students if they need it. Students then filled out a worksheet where they wrote and drew how they think that Marino can help them.

WOS Start with Hello Week