gmhTODAY 15 gmhToday July Aug 2017 - Page 44

School Days Encouraging Students to be Change Makers Written By Kimberly Beare, PIO, Morgan Hill Unified School District S chool is a transformative experience for our youth. Not just academically, but socially and emotionally as well. During middle school, students begin to understand who they are, who they want to be as an adult, and the fact that they have an impact on the world around them. Every action, conversation and social media post impacts other students and the campus environment as a whole. The way a student communicates and behaves leaves a lasting impression, a character footprint, on peers as well as school officials. From day one, students are unwittingly building their character footprint. It traces back to how students interact with classmates and teachers in the classroom, how after-school clubs run their operations, and how athletes treat each other on and off the field. Whether a student chooses to sit with the new kid at lunch, help someone struggling with math, or post a clever video on social media, words and actions always matter. Their character footprint says a lot about who they are today and who they will become as adults. It becomes a legacy that follows every student during their school years and long after they graduate. The school district is a hub of family life in our community. The mission of Morgan Hill Unified School District (MHUSD) is not only to educate students, from drawing with crayons to filling out college applications, but also to nurture their development of positive 44 character traits such as compassion, mindfulness, and leadership. By participating in programs such as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS), and Restorative Justice (RJ), students experience how kindness and respect help them to be more effective and productive together while making their campus a better place for everyone. Through PBIS and the RJ program, our students learn to make positive choices and see how their choices positively impact the campus as a whole. According to MHUSD Superintendent Steve Betando these programs aim to influence how students interact with each other, encouraging early development of the leadership