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Back to School: Three Districts Doing It Right

Thousands of students are heading back to school this week. It’s a frenetic time, filled with both nerves and excitement.

It’s also a tremendous opportunity for school leaders—provided they can tap into all that enthusiasm—to set the tone for the year ahead.

Of course, ensuring that students and teachers start the year off on the right foot is easier said than done.

To kick the school year off right, many districts are getting creative, finding new ways to engage both students and teachers as they head back to school this fall.

Our editors scoured social media to highlight some of the ways that schools are welcoming students and teachers back this year. Here’s three examples that caught our eye. As you welcome students and teachers, here’s hoping they inspire you too!

1. Klein ISD’s Promise 2 Purpose

Students at Klein Independent School District (KISD) in Texas were welcomed back to school this week with a new brand promise and infectious enthusiasm from their teachers and school leaders.

Through its Promise 2 Purpose campaign, the district aims to inspire younger students to think big about their future, while equipping older students with the tools to succeed after graduation.

Promise 2 Purpose started as a way for students to choose their own personalized class and career path heading into high school. This year, the district expanded the program and the slogan to encourage students to enter school with enthusiasm and a plan for the future.

A cursory scan through the Twitter hashtag #Promise2Purpose shows just how fervently school leaders and faculty have fully embraced the message, including via new signs in schools, teacher-held rallies, and social media messages and videos meant to engage students.




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2. Building a strong community at Affton School District

The Affton School District (ASD) in St. Louis prides itself on its strong sense of community. Using the hashtag #AfftonStrong, the district invited students, parents, and staff to share photos and messages about their first day of school.

The district also encouraged students and teachers to share their “Affton strong goals” for the school year.



A new video “Time to Be Proud” asks current and former students, as well as staff, to describe what #AfftonStrong means to them. The video not only serves as a rallying cry for the community, but as an effective marketing message to keep families enrolled and engaged during the school year.

3. Getting everyone invested in Collier County Public Schools

Florida’s Collier County Public Schools (CCPS) is using the new year as an opportunity to reengage students and parents. The idea is to get them to invest in both their personal success, and the success of their schools.

At Palmetto High School, students were greeted with a schoolwide pep event that had all the trappings of a homecoming game.


At Palmetto Elementary, school leaders and teachers invited students and parents to celebrate the school’s recent upgrade from a C to an A rated-school. With a red-carpet parade, book readings, and a “confetti explosion,” students and parents were honored for their role in the school’s improvement.



What do you think of these back-to-school campaigns? What is your school or district doing to welcome students and faculty back this year? Tell us in the comments.