Throughout ASL, spirit days are something almost everyone looks forward to. In recent years, however, spirit days have undergone many different changes.
For one, instead of one spirit week that used to be in place, =the days have been split up throughout the year.
Director of Student Life Mr. Payson Bullard explained how the administration believed that for the middle school, individual spirit days were more effective. “Spirit week did have a big impact on student learning. Students – especially the younger fifth and sixth graders – were very unfocused in class and that made the teachers get behind in everything they were teaching that week.”
While the spirit week might be more of a success in the high school, the majority of the middle school teachers felt like it was taking away from their students’ learning.
The student council almost 100 percent independently plans spirit days. They choose the themes, and look at the possible dates, as well as looking at all the activities for the assembly. Their advisors only help check the dates, as well as give advice on when spirit days were and weren’t more successful. With everyone who is part of the student council’s input, throughout the years the spirit week had turned from a condensed five days to spread out points during the year.
With spirit days throughout the year, the goal is to make them rally points, so students always have something to look forward to. However, some eighth-grade students believe that a spirit week has a better impact on the middle school. “I really like the idea of a spirit week because I feel like it would bring the whole middle school together to bond in a week of celebration,” eighth-grader Julia Neant said.
Eighth-grader ElSaddic Abd Saddic thinks that having a spirit week would actually have a more positive impact on learning in the middle school if it were understood that the spirit week still means that students have to be ready to learn. “I think a spirit week would keep us in a positive mood for classes,” Saddic said.
There has also been a change in the groups competing against each other. It has changed from each grade competing by themselves to the red, orange and yellow teams against the green, blue, purple and black color teams. It was found that as it went up in the middle school, the grades tended to get fewer and fewer points as they overall dressed up less. However with the color groups competing, there are people from every grade on each team, and the score is close every time, usually coming down to the two or three people dressing up.
Eighth-grader Gavin Crawford would rather have grades competing against each other like it used to be. “I feel that encourages people to dress up more and show more spirit because it’s for your individual part of the middle school.”
Eighth-grader Yasmina Kassir agrees. “Competing with your grade as a whole is just really fun when going against other grades, and it brings back more of the competition part of spirit days.”
When it comes to impacting the middle school, all eighth graders are in agreement that spirit days (no matter what form) has an altogether positive impact. “They impact the school in a positive way because it adds a positive spin on a regular school day,” Crawford said.
Kassir agreed with Crawford. “They have so much positive energy and they bring everyone together, so it’s a good time for everyone.”