Spirit Week: Engaging the US Community Safely During a Pandemic

Spirit Week: Engaging the US Community Safely During a Pandemic

Jake Pease, Staff Writer

Spirit week was a week-long opportunity to engage the US community safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. With no Founder’s Day until mid-May, house prefects and Mrs. Coy agreed to create and plan a spirit week at University School. Spirit week started on Tuesday, September 22, and continued through Friday, September 25. During this brief time period, group activities that required teamwork to succeed and solo events that showcased skill were hosted. Also added were dress downs on Wednesday and Friday to express school spirit. These events were intendedto bring the US community together.

. When Mr. Lewis, a history teacher and debate coach, was asked about spirit week he replied, “[Spirit Week] was creative effort to capture the atmosphere of Founder’s Day during a difficult time”. Mr. Lewis enjoyed the different aspects of the competitions partly because they didn’t just rely on athletic ability, but instead on writing skill and logical guessing. Spirit week brought competitions that didn’t involve physical skill as much as Founder’s Day which helped others participate more. On the other hand, a student asked about the week enjoyed the baby photo contest because it was intriguing and enjoyable, but did not enjoy the writing contest, which he did not think was as much fun as the baby photo and Kahoot contests.

Mrs. Coy who helped plan Spirit week with the prefects, added that the favorite student events were the US trivia Kahoot and the teacher baby photo contest. She then went on to say that the prefect board plans to hold more events like spirit week to continually engage the US community throughout the entire school year. They are already adding dress down days for seniors on Fridays, and allowed them to create a playlist of songs to be played over the loudspeakers during passing periods.

Several prefects, Gabe Wallerstein-King, Toussaint Miller, and Sohum Kapadia, mentioned that spirit week was a test run and a way to engage the environment. Since school is different in many ways this year, the prefect board wanted to get a sense of how the house cup would work and give a “virtual nod to Founders day”. They think spirit week went as planned and “re-ignited the embers of the University school community”. Finally, these spirit weeks are meant to be fun and should be an “adventure rather than a hinderance”.

Overall, was spirit week effective in engaging to US community? That’s decided by personal preference. Some students and faculty enjoyed the change of pace that spirit week provided while others didn’t. Despite different opinions, spirit week had students from all grades boasting about how well their homeroom did in the Kahoot quiz, to sharing their opinions on what baby photo matched each teacher. For some, spirit week served its purpose of engaging the students and faculty to provide a spark of energy during a bizarre and unusual school year, while for others, it disappointed.