Welcome back to school at the Student Opportunity Center!
We have just returned from our restful spring break and are eagerly looking forward to the remaining eleven weeks of the 2017-2018 school year. As you may know from previous posts, The Student Opportunity Center has implemented a Student Movement and Relaxation Time period into the school day. During this SMART period, students have thirty minutes to attend one of many different activities offered by teachers and staff, as well as some community volunteers. At the SOC the students can choose from activities such as art, walking club, cosmetics, basketball, relax in the courtyard, soccer, etc. This designated time period has been created to encourage students to blow off steam or to kick back and relax so that they may mentally reset and prepare for classes after lunch. SMART period runs from 1:25-2:55. After SMART period students return to class for fourth period having burned off extra energy or cleared their minds from outside stresses. The SOC implemented this program with that goal in mind. An added benefit that the SOC has received from this program is that many students build camaraderie and community with their fellow classmates. This is crucial for a school like the SOC that gets its population from many different home campuses throughout the district. Students should be excited and motivated to come to school. For some students, SMART period can be the hook that brings them into the world of education.
In keeping with Frisco ISD’s mission to know every student by name and need, in addition to the SOC’s mission to encourage, empower, and educate students for success, teachers and staff regularly participate with the students during their activities. Not only does this build better relationships with the students, but it also benefits the staff members by offering them some movement and relaxation before their fourth period of the day. For example, you can often find Ms. DeGraff creating art with her students, Mr. Hawley and Mr. Ellett playing basketball in the gym, Ms. McColloch walking around the grounds with her students, Ms. Greenan enjoying some quiet time in a book with her students; Mr. Mochowski, Mr. Trevorrow, and even the Student Resource Officer, Daniel Baughman playing soccer with students on the field.
North Texas and its beautiful spring weather has brought with it an increase in the number of students choosing soccer outside with Mr. Mochowski, Mr. Trevorrow and Officer Baughman. Many students even bring the appropriate shoes, clothes, and gear in anticipation for SMART period soccer. Commonly the students will be at the gate to the field quicker than the teachers; they are excited, energetic, and have even pre-chosen their teams, not without a little bickering over who gets Mr. M, Mr. T, and Officer B of course. The students look forward to soccer so much that when the field is wet or untrimmed, they can be found in the courtyard playing short-sided street soccer matches. Some students even use their lunch time to multitask by eating and juggling or passing the ball around. Once they have all finished eating, you better believe that they have organized a pick-up game in the courtyard.
As a teacher at the SOC and with all the classroom benefits of SMART period aside, the joy and happiness that students show moments before kick-off and during matches gets me excited to come to work every day. I am constantly smiling around this group of students, and I am proud of the strong and capable young adults that they are becoming.
Below you can see some photos of the staff members and the great students from the SOC enjoying the world’s most beautiful game.
From all of us here at the SOC, we hope that your spring break was as great as ours and that the remaining eleven weeks of school bring happiness, joy, accomplishment, and all good things to your lives.