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Middle Schoolers Create Class Charters For The School Year

Each day, complimenting one person, respecting each other's ideas, and keeping spaces clean are just a few of the objectives that can be found on the bright blue poster hanging in Robin Trusty's fifth-grade classroom.

As a part of their Social and Emotional Class Charter, the poster features the students' signatures, and a complete list of rules, promises, and guidelines the class and teacher agreed to uphold for the school year.

 "The class charter gives students on campus and an opportunity to be part of the guidelines needed for us to have a positive learning environment, and be a stakeholder in the Lausanne community," said Dr. Trusty.

Similar class charters hang in every classroom across Middle School and were created to help students connect with each other while understanding their rights and developing their sense of responsibilities.

 "Students have more positive relationships and a greater buy into education when they are included," said Dr. Trusty.

A review of research analysis from 46 educational studies found that strong teacher-student relationships are associated with improvements in school measures like higher student academic engagement, attendance, grades, fewer disruptive behaviors, and suspensions, and lower school dropout rates. 

Teachers benefit, too. A study in the European Journal of Psychology of Education found that a teacher's relationship with students was the best predictor of how much the teacher experienced joy versus anxiety in class.

Students had the opportunity to work on their class charters during the Daily Focus, a curriculum middle schoolers start each day with involving 10-minute activities that foster self-reflection, self-management and social and emotional communication skills. Typically, students meet with their advisories for the Daily Focus, but with this year's new schedule, they continue the morning routine with their classroom. 

“As part of our new social and emotional initiative, we wanted to start the school year setting the expectations for interaction with each other," said Director of Social and Emotional Learning Greg Graber. "Creating these charters during our Daily Focus period gives the students a voice and ownership of our community expectations. It also allows them to strengthen their emotional intelligence skills."

Delaney Price '25 signing the Class Charter in Mrs. Locastro's eighth grade class.