South Orangetown Central School District

Tappan Zee High School celebrated #StartWithHelloWeek with daily themes, classroom activities and events during lunch periods.

Throughout the week, teachers asked their classes various conversation starters to encourage students to converse and get to know one another. “We celebrate Start With Hello Week at TZHS because it is important for students to get to know their peers at every age. When students engage with each other about the simplest topics, they learn new things about classmates and can feel less isolated. Start With Hello Week is a wonderful way to build empathy and create new connections,” said TZHS School Prevention Counselor Annie Scott. During lunch periods this week, Scott hosted “Start With Hello Bingo” and created a photobooth to encourage students and staff to grab a friend and complete the H in ‘Hello’ by shaking hands.

Scott designated yesterday as “Trust an Adult Thursday” and students watched a video made by the TZHS Counseling Department and completed a survey. During the video, Scott, School Social Worker Jessenia Cursio, TZHS school counselors and school psychologists explained the importance of having a trusted adult that they can talk to both inside and outside of school. Following the video, students completed a confidential Google survey that will only be view by Scott and Cursio where they had to identify a friend or family member as well as a trusted adult at TZHS that they feel safe talking to and what makes them a person they can confide in. “We include the trusted adult survey in the week because connections with adults in school are as important as connections with peers,” explained Scott. According to Sandy Hook Promise, “Trusted adults are important developmental relationships for students. Students who reported strong relationships with their teachers are more likely to: Have higher grade point averages, feel connected to school and feel respected and included.”

TZHS Start with Hello Week