Let’s Get More Googleyness in Schools!

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I read an interesting blog post on Google’s blog this weekend about interns who were sharing about their internship experience at Google this summer.

Each of the three interns who were interviewed worked on different projects for Google, and one question that was asked of all three interns was the most interesting one to me:

“After spending a summer at Google, what does “Googleyness” mean to you?”

First, I had never heard of “Googleyness” before, so I, ahem, Googled it.

Googleyness is a word that describes a desired characteristic or traits within people that Google considers desirable in their employees. Here’s a rundown of traits from someone else who has interned for Google:

“To me, Googleyness encompasses a couple of key things:

Working well with others

Caring about a cause bigger than yourself [1]

Curiosity (and “comfort with ambiguity”)

Approaching problems from different, interesting angles and thinking “outside” of the box

Having that signature, unique quirky thing that sets you apart (because everyone’s different!)

Passion. Period.

Desire to improve and learn from mistakes

And, above all, don’t be evil.”

I don’t believe there is a company in America who wouldn’t want their employees to have most if not all of these traits. What I think sets Google apart from other companies in hiring is the priority they place on hiring talent with Googleyness and how Googleyness is a way to describe the culture of Google that their employees experience.

When I take another look at that list of traits and the way the interns describe what Googleyness means to them, I see words like collaboration, curiosity, problem-solving, and passion.

These are all traits and skills I hope we can instill in our kids through the work we do with them. Helping our students build a future for themselves starts with us in elementary. I believe these are foundational traits and skills that will help them have more control over their future and I hope you will join me in working to build more Googleyness into ADE!

Have a GREAT week!

Herb

 

Worth Checking Out

“Resilience isn’t just being tough; it’s a skill you can develop. Here’s how I did it.” http://wapo.st/2go7pee?tid=ss_tw-bottom&utm_term=.88af9b641252

Be More Like Mattress Mack!

Upcoming Dates

September

 

5 – Mumkin Orders due

6 – Curriculum Night, 5:30-6:30pm

7 – Herb at Admin mtg, AM

11 – PTO Meeting, 6-7pm (Exec mtg); 7pm (General mtg)

12 – School Improvement Team meeting, 8:15am

13 – ADE Staff Meeting, 8:15am

15 – Building Advisory Committee meeting, 8:30am

16 – AD/DC Warrior Dash, 1-6pm

21 – Student Picture Day

25 – Pastries with Parents, 8am

27 – Herb at mtg off campus, AM; ADE Staff Meeting, 3:45pm; Mumkin Delivery, 1pm

29 – ADDC Culture Celebration, 1-3pm

 

October

2-6 Conference Week

2 – School Community Meeting, 10:45am

5 – Fall Conference Late Night 4-8pm

7 – Cardboard Challenge

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Your Unfair Advantage

Over break, I read Embracing a Culture of Joy: How Educators Can Bring Joy to Their Classrooms Each Day, by Dean Shareski and was struck by the phrase “unfair advantage” that Shareski uses: 

Finding your unfair advantage is not about competition but rather an internal sense of confidence and purpose. It speaks to Pink’s (2009) and Schwartz’s (2015) notion of mastery and autonomy. While teacher satisfaction research can vary, many studies indicate that the lack of autonomy is growing in education (Sparks & Malkus, 2015). If teachers were told to embrace what makes them unique, to find and foster their unfair advantages, I can’t help but surmise that it would make a significant difference to job satisfaction. The unfair advantage of schools is the diversity of students and teachers.

Shareski explains that, if given that all things are equal – resources, time, etc., we all have something unique that we bring to our work and that gives us an unfair advantage over others.  Shareski goes on to say that this isn’t about being competitive.  It’s about recognizing a talent or passion you have that others in the building do not have and how that leads to a culture of joy in your classroom and throughout the building.

The problem, as Shareski points out, is that we often can’t see our own unfair advantage because we spend most of our time in our own classroom, our own building or our own district.  However, that shouldn’t stop any of us from knowing or finding out what our own unfair advantage is.  We should continue to look for opportunities to gain an outside perspective that will allow us to discover what it might be.  Discovering our own unfair advantage allows us to embrace what makes us unique and leverage these strengths in our work.  Recognize your strengths. Be proud of what you bring to the classroom and to our kids!

Finally, how powerful would it be for our kids if we help them think about their strengths and how they can grow them and use them as they continue to develop as learners?

EnJOY the GREAT week back!

– Herb

Worth Checking Out —

 

 

Upcoming Dates –

27 – Class Panoramic Pictures

28 – Legend Group (403b) here during lunches

29 – Staff Meeting, 3:45 – One2One Pioneers to present; Get Fit Girls, 3:35 – 4:30

30 – Mental Health & Wellness meeting, 8:00

30-31 – Herb in DC

31 – Fruit & Veggies (pineapple & carrots); Staff school supply orders due; PTO Parents Painting Night, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

 

April

3 – School Community Meeting – “Adjust and Adapt”, 10:45am; Board of Education meeting at ADE, 7pm

4 – BIT meeting, 8am; 5th grade ELA, Part 1

5 – IMPACT PD (K-2 Teachers); 6th grade transition meeting, 2:00 – 4:00; 5th grade ELA, Part 2

6 – Admin meeting (Herb, AM); Blue Jackets Choir performance (before game); 3rd & 4th grade ELA, Part 1

7 – 3rd & 4th grade ELA, Part 2

10 – Preschool IEP meetings (Herb/Brian H), throughout day; PTO Meeting, 7:00

12 – Staff Meeting – Progress check on Data Team goal; KG ELL testing; Urban Zen, 3:45 – 4:45; Lambright’s Parent Ed Camp

13 – Mental Health and Wellness Team meeting, 8am; One2One Principal meeting, 10am; KG fieldtrip to Franklin Park Conservatory; 2nd grade Wax Museum; Last day to submit requisitions; Staff Lunch

14 – Holiday, No School

17 – 4th grade fieldtrip to Supreme Court & Statehouse

18 – 5th grade Math test

19 – SLSP fieldtrip to Steak N Shake; 4th grade Math Test

20 – Principal’s meeting (Herb, AM); 3rd grade Math Test

21 – 2nd grade fieldtrip to Art Museum

24-28 – Book Fair, open til 5:00 on 25th; open during Art Show on 27th; open 8:00-10:00 am on 28th

24 – Gifted model parent meeting, 6:00; Vidic’s Medicine Safety Presentation (5th=1:30 – 2:15, 4th=2:15-3:00)

25 – 5th grade Science Test; 4th grade Social Studies Test; Vidic’s Medicine Safety Presentation (2nd=1:00-1:35; 3rd=1:40-2:15; 1st=2:20-2:55)

26 – Staff meeting, 3:40; Walk-A-Thon

27 – Elementary Transfer meeting, 8:30; Art Show, times TBD

28 – BAC meeting, 8:00; fruit & veggies (grapes & snow peas); clean office lounge

This Incredible Opportunity

My goal as an educator has always been to help change the world and help make it a better place for all.

We who teach have been given this incredible opportunity to help lead a community of learners.  Our work empowers students with the skills and knowledge they will need to be the leaders we will need in the future.

When I feel down or stressed, I need to remember to be grateful for this incredible opportunity I have to make a difference – to keep the main thing the main thing – and then act with as much positivity, optimism, and joy as I can every single time I walk through the doors of this great community of learners.

Have a GREAT week!

– Herb

Articles Worth Checking Out

Can Personalized Learning Flourish Within A Traditional System?

Lazy but talented

Using Math Menus: Some Nuts & Bolts | Marilyn Burns Math Blog

Upcoming Dates

March

7 – BIT Meeting, 8am; 3rd Safety Drill, 10:45 am

8 – ADE Staff Meeting, 8am — Check in on Students’ writing performance since last month (Counts as monthly Data Team check-in for literacy)

10 – Principals’ One2One meeting, 10am

13 – Spring Flower Sale Orders due

15 – Olive Tree Spirit DAY; Class Panoramic Pictures; Spec Ed Team Meeting, noon; RTI Team meeting, 3:40

16 – 5th Grade Musical Performances: 10:50, 1:20, & 7pm

20-24 – Spring Break

29 – Staff Meeting, 3:45

30-31 – Herb in DC

2016-17 Testing Calendar

Ohio State Assessment Schedule at ADE (Grades 3, 4 & 5):

Tuesday, April 4 — Grade 5 English Language Arts, Part 1

Wednesday, April 5 — Grade 5 English Language Arts,  Part 2

Thursday, April 6 — Grades 3 & 4 English Language Arts, Part 1

Friday, April 7 — Grades 3 & 4 English Language Arts, Part 2

Tuesday, April 18 — Grade 5 Mathematics, Parts 1 & 2

Wednesday, April 19 — Grade 4 Mathematics, Parts 1 & 2

Thursday, April 20 — Grade 3 Mathematics, Parts 1 & 2

Tuesday, April 25 — Grade 5 Science and Grade 4 Social Studies, Parts 1 & 2

Your Personal Average

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“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” -Jim Rohn

I think about this quote often.  I think about how true it has been for me in my life.

In high school, I had a group of friends that I was fortunate to have in my life.  It was like I had 6 or seven more brothers to rely upon.  They truly had a positive influence over me. 

There was a point near then end of my junior year when I was set on not going to college.  I kept making excuses for myself because the process of getting in — the applying, the essay writing, the financial burden — were all so overwhelming to me that I just wanted to avoid the whole thing.

So here were my friends all going through the same process I would need to go through to get into college.  They all seemed to have a plan and were excited about this next stage in life.  I will never forget being over at one of my friends house one summer afternoon.  He had a pool and we were hanging out and shooting basketball into one of those poolside basketball hoops that I would one day completely destroy trying to be Shaq during a dunk.

My friend’s mom came out of the back door of the house and called for him to come in to take a phone call. “It’s OSU; they want to talk to you!”

Wait?  Colleges call people to convince them into going to their school?

A few minutes later, my friend jumped back into the pool with a big smile on his face.  “Ohio State wanted to make sure I was going to apply.  I told them ‘Of course!’”

I faked my enthusiasm because I was crushed.  I knew that with my attitude wasn’t going to get me into college, which deep down is what I truly wanted to do next in my life.  I wanted to be sought after.  I had dreams and aspirations too and I needed to do something about it.

It was that moment and all of the other positive effects of my other friends going through the process of getting into college that created a huge turning point in my life – One that I am thankful for each day.

I was fortunate then to have people around me who pushed me and made my “average” better. I continue to put this philosophy into practice today.  I learn from amazing people everyday and I am fortunate to be able to do so.  Each day I am pushed to grow better as a person because of who I surround myself with…And there are way more than 5 people who have this effect on me!

So, I ask you — Who are you surrounded by?  Are they pushing you to grow?  Are they inspiring you to get out of your comfort zone?  Are they helping you to improve your average?

Keep growing and have a GREAT week!

-Herb

Articles Worth Reading —

Elementary Coding for Hour of Code: Number Sense and Numeration with Racing Cars!

How To Bring New Students Into Your Peaceful Classroom | Smart Classroom Management

Being a Void that is Felt

Upcoming Dates —

Dec 6 — K-2 IMPACT Training; BIT meeting, 8am: Focus on R-Factor Program

Dec 12 – Herb out at meeting until noon; PTO Meeting, 7pm

Dec 14 — ADE Staff Meeting, 3:45 – Mental Health and Wellness Team to present

Dec 15 – 4th Grade Musical Performances: 10:50am, 1:20pm; Herb out at meeting until noon

Dec 16 – BAC meeting, 8am

Dec 20 – Classroom Parties, 2:30pm

Dec 21-Jan 3 – Winter Break

Jan 4 – Students return

Jan 9 – PTO Meeting, 7pm

Jan 11 – ADE Staff Meeting, 8am

Jan 20 – Family Game Night, 6:30-8pm

[New Post] The Power of “Self-Talk”

 

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It was Sunday morning and my alarm for 4:45am was telling me it was time to get up.

“What am I doing?” I thought.

It was race day.  I had signed up for a 10 mile race a couple of months ago when the realities of the school year hadn’t sunk in yet.  Last week was probably one of the most challenging weeks I’ve experienced and I was drained.  The last thing I wanted to do was get up and run.

The negative self-talk started the minute I woke up and kept on happening all the way up to the 8am start of the race:

I don’t need to do this.

I don’t feel good.

The race fees are going to charity so I’m not wasting money.

It’s cold outside.

I owe it to myself to rest.

Negative self-talk is powerful.  I almost gave up.

In A Mindset for Learning, Mraz & Hertz refer to negative self-talk as the “Superhighway of Doom”.  Negative self-talk is developed over time starting when we are kids.  It’s partly a self-defense mechanism, but it eventually turns into a default response to unfamiliar situations when we need to be Discipline-Driven.

But we can overcome negative self-talk with enough focus and intentional positive self-talk.  It takes time.  It takes practice.  And it’s possible to deconstruct the “Superhighway to Doom”, even for adults.

Fast-forward to 9:30am and I am crossing the finish line because I chose to ignore my complaining, defending, and blaming and focus instead on my goal.

I ran my best long run ever, pacing myself to get fastest over the length of the race.  The best part was seeing my family at the finish line, which was such a complete surprise I got a little teary-eyed.

I share this story because it’s one more reminder that you are your own worst enemy. We all have negative self-talk moments each day.  We each face Events in our lives where negative self-talk because our Default-Driven Response.  We have to remember that we have power over this.  We have to intentionally practice each day to get better. And we have to remember that there are others who want to help us cross the finish line.

bigbadwolf2016

Have a GREAT week!

-Herb

Article Worth Reading – Gearing Up for MAKERSPACE!

Please take a moment to read this article related to the Maker Movement.  John Spencer’s story about himself as the quiet kid in class reflects so many of our kids (and is exactly who I was as a kid).  The second half of the article connected with me when I was thinking about the work we will do with kids in the future.  It is a fast read that is well worth your time!

The MakerSpace will be a touchstone for innovation that will support all of our students.  It is a reflection of the direction we are taking learning.

“The Future Belongs to the Makers”, by John Spencer — http://www.spencerauthor.com/2016/09/the-future-belongs-to-the-makers.html/

Upcoming Dates

September

26 – MakerSpace Grand Opening!

28 – Mumkin Pickup, 4-7PM

29 – Pastries with Parents

30 – Building Advisory Committee meeting, 8AM; Interims go home

October

1 – Community Cardboard Challenge, 9-Noon, Heritage MS

4 – BIT Meeting, 8AM

7 – Building Tour by Board of Education

17-20 — Fall Conference Week; Late Night is Weds, Oct 19.

21 – COI Day

24 – State of Schools (Darby), 6-9PM

25 – State of Schools (Davidson, 6-9PM

26 – State of Schools (Bradley), 6-9PM

Click here for the Elementary Assessment Calendar for 2016-2017.

IMPORTANT HCSD DATES

 

Board of Education Meeting – September 26, 7pm at Davidson High School

Community Information Meeting – September 27, 7:30pm at JW Reason Elementary

Community Information Meeting – September 29, 7:30pm at Darby Creek Elementary

Community R Factor Training – October 2, 7pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – October 4, 7:30 pm at Hoffman Trails Elementary

Community Information Meeting – 6, 7:30pm at Horizon Elementary

Community R Factor Training – October 9, 7pm at Darby High School

Board of Education Meeting – October 10, 7pm at Bradley High School

Community Information Meeting – October 11, 7:30pm at Crossing Elementary

Community Information Meeting – 13, 7:30pm at Bradley High School

Community R Factor Training – October 16, 7pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – October 18, 7:30pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – 20, 7:30pm at Davidson High School

Community R Factor Training – October 23, 7pm at Darby High School

Board of Education Meeting – October 24, 7pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – October 27, 7:30pm at Tharp

Community Information Meeting – November 7, 7:30pm at Station

How To View a Day

How do you view the day that lies before you?  Do you see the celebrations, the growth and the joy of what’s to come? Have you already determined the challenges are almost impossible to overcome?

The self-talk we have before the day begins will manifest itself into the day we talk about later.  If we assume and expect “bad things” will happen, chances are we’ll be talking about our “bad day”.

I don’t believe for a minute that we can eliminate tough days from our lives; that’s just not a realistic expectation.  However, I do believe we have more control than we think over the way our days play out.

Like other staff members, I am currently reading “A Mindset for Learning: Teaching the Traits of Joyful, Independent Growth” by Kristine Mraz and Christine Hertz (2015), and this is one of the many points they make in the book.

I think this book is the perfect read for this year because it combines so many elements of our current work and focus are discussed by the authors in the context of teaching practices.  The authors are on a mission to connect growth mindset practices to learning practices but in a meaningful and transforming way.  Take a look at this from the authors:

We cannot let fear of benchmarks stand in the way of helping children find their value and their voice.  What does it matter if that same child does not believe she has power and agency? A child in passive receipt of learning will be in passive receipt of life. (p. xvi)

And their message is that it starts with us.  We set the tone that drives the behaviors that gets us the results we desire.  We have to see the possibilities of each day.  The change has to happen within us before it happens through us.

So as you start each day, imagine what you will celebrate.  Imagine the joy you will help create with kids.  Imagine the hope you will instill.  We can make a difference but it’s up to us to see it in our mind before we can see it with our eyes.

Have a GREAT week!

-Herb

 

Tweets Worth Reading

 

 

 

 

Upcoming Dates

September

6 – BIT Meeting, 8AM

7 – Curriculum Night, 6-7PM

8 – House Leader Meeting, 8AM at DCR

9 – Campus Project Q&A with Herb, 7:45 Media Center *Voluntary* – I will have coffee 🙂

12 – PTO Meeting, 7PM

22 — School Picture Day!

24 – EdCamp Columbus at Gahanna-Lincoln HS

 

October

1 – Community Cardboard Challenge

7 – Building Tour by Board of Education

17-20 — Fall Conference Week; Late Night is Weds, Oct 19.

21 – COI Day

24 – State of Schools (Darby), 6-9PM

25 – State of Schools (Davidson, 6-9PM

26 – State of Schools (Bradley), 6-9PM

 

Click here for the Elementary Assessment Calendar for 2016-2017.

IMPORTANT HCSD DATES

Community Information Meeting – September 6, 7:30pm at Scioto Darby Elementary

Community Information Meeting – September 8, 7:30pm at Beacon Elementary

Community R Factor Training – September 11, 7pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – September 13, 7pm at Ridgewood Elementary

Community Information Meeting – September 15, 7:30pm at Britton Elementary

Board of Education Meeting – September 12, 7pm at Memorial Middle School

Community R Factor Training – September 18, 7pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – September 20, 7:30pm at Norwich Elementary

Community Information Meeting – September 22, 7:30pm at Brown Elementary

Community R Factor Training – September 25, 7pm at Darby High School

Board of Education Meeting – September 26, 7pm at Davidson High School

Community Information Meeting – September 27, 7:30pm at JW Reason Elementary

Community Information Meeting – September 29, 7:30pm at Darby Creek Elementary

Community R Factor Training – October 2, 7pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – October 4, 7:30 pm at Hoffman Trails Elementary

Community Information Meeting – 6, 7:30pm at Horizon Elementary

Community R Factor Training – October 9, 7pm at Darby High School

Board of Education Meeting – October 10, 7pm at Bradley High School

Community Information Meeting – October 11, 7:30pm at Crossing Elementary

Community Information Meeting – 13, 7:30pm at Bradley High School

Community R Factor Training – October 16, 7pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – October 18, 7:30pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – 20, 7:30pm at Davidson High School

Community R Factor Training – October 23, 7pm at Darby High School

Board of Education Meeting – October 24, 7pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – October 27, 7:30pm at Tharp

Community Information Meeting – November 7, 7:30pm at Station

 

10 things I’ve learned as a principal after 100 blog posts.

Update for May 16-20

I started this blog two years ago as a way to reflect on my journey as an elementary principal.  And after 100 posts, I am confident that blogging has allowed me to reflect in public and has had a profound impact on me.

I’ve been thinking about what I’ve learned after 100 blog posts and I thought for this occasion I would share a list of the top 10 things I’ve learned from blogging and being a principal.  It’s a list of reflections, tips, and goals for the future and they are in not particular order.

1. Write for yourself — Who knows who will read your blog or who will even want to.  Therefore, write for yourself.  Create a blog and blog posts that you would want to read.  If others read it and like it, great!  If only you read it, then writing for yourself makes any post one of the best you have read. 

2. Steal ideas and steal them often — The format of my blog came directly from Ben Gilpin.  He’s a much better writer than me, but I liked the format of reflecting, sharing articles, and listing upcoming dates.  It has become a way for me to lead through words.  I share a reflection that hopefully causes my staff to reflect a little and bind us together on working towards a vision of making school better for kids.

3. Read, read, read — I used to tell my fourth grade students that my favorite part of the day was writer’s workshop.  I kept writer’s workshop at the end of the day because that gave us the whole day to read new stories, new information, and new ideas that we could use in our own writing.  Reading is the source of my ideas. I spend each early morning going through my feedly account, Twitter, and Facebook to find an article or post that pushes me to think or one that I think will connect to the work we are doing at school. Often what I read leads me to what I write about on Sunday evening.

4.  Get over yourself — Not everyone will like you or what you write. So stop trying to make everyone like you and stick to working on doing what is best for kids.

5.  Some people want to be told what to do, but don’t tell them what to do unless it’s really necessary — Sometimes you have to be explicit with expectations, but that is not always a card you need to play especially when in the middle of a change process.  Professional growth — the good kind — is usually in the form of arriving at the conclusion yourself.  Being told what to do feels completely different than being guided towards what to do and arriving there yourself.

6.  Kids are 1000 times easier to deal with than adults, but keeping kids first means making sure the adults who work the kids also see what is truly important. 

7.  Blogging is cathartic — Writing about something that connects all of your thoughts from the week helps you clear out what is unimportant and helps you prepare for the work ahead.  Some people journal, others drink or exercise.  I blog (well, mostly I blog).

8.  You’re on a team, but you are all alone — At times, being a principal can make you feel extremely lonely.  There are times when you can’t share what’s going on because you really don’t want others to carry the weight of the situation or problem.  A principal’s job includes protecting others from the garbage that gets thrown at us from time to time.  And that can make you feel really lonely.

9.  Eating lunch with students is worth the all of the spills in your office — I eat lunch with about 30 kids in my office each week.  It is as messy as it sounds. It is also incredibly inconvenient sometimes when 5 first graders show up unexpectedly with lunch in hand.  But it’s easy to let go of what’s frustrating you at that moment when all 5 of them are smiling and laughing.  Taking the time to connect with kids should be a first priority.

10.  I have the best job in the world — One day last October, I was breaking down cardboard boxes with my art teacher after school for our Cardboard Challenge that was going to take place that weekend. 

We needed a ton of cardboard to help our giant maker faire a huge success.  I was tired, I had a headache, my dress clothes were getting dirty, and I had just found out I needed to call a tough parent because their kid saw porn on a school device that another student had somehow managed to look up on Google.

A little later while we were still prepping the cardboard, I turned to Becky (my art teacher) and said, “I don’t think I ever want to leave this role.  I love that I get to do this!”  I truly have the best job in the world because I commit to focusing each second of the time I spend thinking about or working on school related stuff on doing what is best for kids.

The principalship has been the most rewarding work I have ever done outside of teaching.  I’ve never had a doubt about taking on this opportunity.  Each day truly is a new adventure.

Thanks for reading!  Here’s to another 100 posts!

Have a GREAT week!

-Herb


Tweets worth checking out —

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Upcoming dates —

May 17 — K/1 Data Team Half-Day Meeting
May 18 — 2/3 Data Team Half-Day Meeting
May 19 — 5/4 Data Team Half-Day Meeting 

May 18 — ADDC Staff Meeting, ADE Media Center, 3:45
May 19 — Herb Mtg AM
May 20 — School Community Meeting, 2:40pm — PM KG to end meeting by duck-taping me to the wall of the gym.  You’ve been warned…
May 26 — Last Grow Together Thursday
May 30 — Holiday, NO SCHOOL
May 31 — ADE PTO Family Luau

Jun 3 — Last Day of School (Students)