Calapooia Middle School Cougars are Courageous, Leaders, have Integrity, have a positive Mindset, Belong at the School.
These character traits spell out CLIMB, a new student engagement initiative that uses mountain climbing as a metaphor for overcoming obstacles and reaching goals.
The program is a new idea from teachers Stephanie Watson and Margo DeYoung. “Our teachers and administrators were looking to change our school climate, increase students’ engagement in school, and re-imagine our character education goals,” said Watson.
In a presenation to students, they explained why they chose the mountain as a metaphor:
“Mountain climbing is an amazing challenge that pushes people to their absolute limits. Anyone who conquers a mountain comes away as a changed person. But the mountain can also represent the journeys we take in life. Most of us will climb several “mountains” in our lives. Some people will be too afraid to ever try. What are some “mountains” you hope to conquer?”
Over the summer, Watson said, a group of five teachers came together and wrote Base Camp (advisory) lessons for 6-8 grade that they felt would help meet goals and student needs at the school.
“Our number one goal was to create an experience and environment in which students to want to engage in school and in which students have a vision of the future that inspires them. Our hope is that this proactive approach decreases our need to be reactionary in our management.”
CLIMB kicked off with a student assembly where students learned their mountain climbing goals and received team t-shirts.