May 17, 2019
August 8, 2019
JLS student council students blow bubbles as a stress-management tool

Happy spring! I always look forward to warmer weather, watching my son’s baseball games, and all the activities that remind us that the end of the school year is near. I view the last few weeks of school as a sprint to the finish line. While we hope to finish strong, it’s important for us to take care of ourselves socially and emotionally.

A few weeks ago, JL Stanford Middle School had its first ever Stress management, Passion, Attitude, Relationships, and Kinesthetic (SPARK) Week. Our counselors and student groups planned lunchtime activities and events, including blowing bubbles, playing with therapy dogs, eating cookies with staff members, and even a dance party. The goal was to explore fun ways to decrease stress and increase happiness.

SPARK is focused on wellness and developing the social-emotional wellbeing of students and staff members. We want students to find activities that bring joy and energy to themselves and to develop positive and optimistic attitudes. We encourage students to cultivate relationships with other peers and caring adults including parents and staff members. SPARK also encourages physical, kinesthetic activity. While watching YouTube and playing video games may be a stress management tool, it needs to be balanced with being active physically.

Working together, we can help our students to push through and cross the finish line with confidence and strength.

-Lisa Hickey
Principal, JLS Middle School

This article first appeared in the May 2019 edition of School News Roll Call.