School Celebration Newsletter | December 2023 Edition

Cindy Sholtys-Cromwell, Principal, Loowit High School and Kelso Virtual Academy (K-12), Kelso School District
Nov 27, 2023


One of my FAVORITE Times of Year

Cindy and family

Happy December friends. I absolutely LOVE the holiday season. This is the month you MUST remember to take care of you, have some fun with your family AND make some unforgettable memories. I find by adding fun activities for my staff I automatically get an energy boost from their positivity, smiles, and excitement. Research is clear when you help others fill their bucket YOUR bucket also gets filled. I encourage you to go for it this month and try something new and unique. Your staff will appreciate it and so will your heart and spirit. Remember to email me or tag me on social media so I can see your creations and celebrations.

A few of Cindy's Favorites

Screenshot 2023-11-27 at 4.14.53 PM

Festivus for the Rest of Us

I am a HUGE Seinfeld fan. As evidence, my cats are named Newman and George. This means the week before winter break we are celebrating “Festivus for the Rest of Us” with a variety of staff dress up days and fun activities to help all of us get through the wild ride. Each day, I have specific activities or games to participate in with super cheap prizes I purchase on or around black Friday to save money. Then, on the last day, we end with a fun day of trivia and prizes. A few dress up ideas include: Holiday Sweater Day, Sparkle & Jingle Day, Dress Up as a Package, Holiday Hat Day, Hawaiian Holiday, Crazy Sock Day, Comfy Day, and Red/Green Day. I have played “Find the Elf” where I hide the elf in different locations throughout the school each day and staff email me where it is for an entry into a prize drawing. No matter what, it is important to recognize that the week leading up the break can be difficult for not only our students but our staff. Every chance you have to support staff this week will support their ability to finish strong.

December Days to Celebrate

December 1 | “National Christmas Lights Day” Surprise students and staff when they walk into your office and staff room with lights. There are battery operated lights to help you spruce up areas without needing a nearby plug in. December 1 is also “National Eat a Red Apple Day” – Think an apple a day keeps the doctor away during cold season. AND also National Pie Day. So many individual little pies to have available for staff and bring around in your treat cart for an afternoon snack.

December 4 | "National Cookie Day" This could be one of the easiest days to plan and one that would be guaranteed to be remembered. Pass out pre-made cookie dough to your staff. Let them know that you want to provide them with the opportunity to begin to make family memories. December 4 is also “National Sock Day” A great day to have a crazy sock dress up day.

December 5 | “World Trick Shot Day” | In PE or out on the playground, have a trick shot competition with students and/or staff.

December 7 | I want to combine a couple of days here. “National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day” and “National Letter Writing Day”, in my mind, can beautifully intertwine. December 7 is such an important day in our history, and if we can have students write a quick note to former service members (local VFW, Legion or retirement centers) on behalf of the legacy of the veterans who lost their life on that day, that could be very powerful.

December 8 | “National Brownie Day”  | Little Debbie Brownies with a sticker that says “Happy National Brownie Day—It is a true treat to work with you.”

December 11 | "International Mountain Day" So many ideas for great fun today - Purchase Mountain Bars with a note "Ain't No Mountain Too High to Keep Me From Being Thankful For You." Have a Mountain Dew Bar for staff. (Note – have you seen all of the flavors they have?) Or pass out trail mix with a note to remind them "Wherever this mountain trail takes us in 2024, we are in it together."

December 12 | “National Poinsettia Day” | Purchase small poinsettias to decorate classrooms and office spaces. Need some team collaboration opportunities? Well, December 12 is also Gingerbread House Day!!! If you have a staff meeting, have a team competition or leave a couple kits out in the lunch room and encourage staff to build them. Have a competition between your different lunches.

December 13 | “National Cocoa Day” Solicit your Leadership Club or PTO to create a hot cocoa bar full of toppings and flavors. Don’t forget the candy canes and marshmallows.

December 14 | “Monkey Day” Enjoy some monkey business today and start off with a breakfast of muffins, bananas, and coffee for staff. Have a few games in the staff room to play during lunch time such as Barrel of Monkeys.

December 15 | It's another cupcake celebration day with “National Cupcake Day”. This is for every flavor of cupcakes, so you know how this works. Pick some up, maybe have some sprinkles or toppings available for staff to add. December 15 is also “International Tea Day”. Borrow a few water warming pots and have a tea bar available for this cold winter day AND National Ugly Sweater Day!!! A great opportunity to show your style.

December 18 | "Answer the Telephone Like Buddy the Elf Day" "What is your favorite color?"

December 19 |  “National Hard Candy Day” As staff leave for winter break, give them a roll of Life Savers candies. Thank them for being a “Life Saver” during this ever crazy season.

December 21 | “National Flashlight Day” Head lamps for everyone - lunch or reading by flashlights. You can play “Flashlight” by Funkadelic from your Jammy Pack—A Cromwell Household Favorite!!! It is also "National Crossword Puzzle Day" if you want a calmer activity. Provide various crossword puzzles to staff for a competition.

December 22 | “National Cookie Exchange Day” No better way to end this week than with cookies and an exchange of favorites.

Cindy is in her 23rd year as a school administrator. She is currently the principal of Kelso Virtual Academy and Loowit Alternative High School within the Kelso School District in Kelso, Washington. Cindy has been recognized by the National Association of Secondary School Principals as the 2021 National Digital Principal of the Year. She has two teenagers and has been married to her husband, Leszek for 23 years. Find her on Twitter @sholtys.

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