At Great Oaks Legacy Charter High School, Spirit Week is held during March specifically to bring a lively celebration to the longest month of the school year, sitting nicely in between both basketball and track seasons. Ms. Belden, High School Director, states that the intention behind creating Spirit Week was “to celebrate all the different levels of community at our school. We have the tutorial community in Tutor Crew Tuesday, the staff community, the house community, and a school wide community.”
This year, Spirit Week 2018 consisted of Monday is College Shirt Day where students wear college apparel with jeans and sneakers. Many students enjoy wearing sweatshirts and t-shirts of colleges that they want to go to, while tutors and teachers enjoy representing the college they attended. This day particularly connects to our mission of preparing students for success in college by allowing students and staff to express their love for a variety of colleges.
Tuesday is Tutor Crew Tuesday (TCT) where Tutors plan a group costume idea with their primary tutees. The groups are normally comprised of students across all 4 grades with their tutor. The tutor crew brainstorms and picks an idea for TCT. Costumes are either bought or made and are worn to school on Tuesday. At the end of the day, the group meets up to take a picture which is then submitted for the Tutor Crew Tuesday Prize Winner.
Wednesday is Pajama Day, this year student council voted on incorporating Pajama Day into spirit week. The students were allowed to wear sweatpants, hoodies, pajama pants, and comfortable t-shirts to school.
Thursday is Heritage Day is the liveliest day as students and staff are able to wear dress, shirts, and clothing native to their heritage. Most of the students go all out in wearing shirts, flags, and other clothing items that represent their heritage.
Finally, Friday is House Pride Day where students and staff wear the corresponding colors of their “house.” At the high school, students and staff are sorted into four houses: Indira Gandhi (yellow), Jackie Robinson (green), Malcolm X (orange), and Frederick Douglass (purple). During pep rallies and Spirit Week the houses compete against each other in dance offs, cheer offs, Jeopardy, Family Feud, and more.
Spirit Week is adored by both students and staff alike. 10th grader Doryan Hedrington says “Pajama Day [is my favorite] because it allows me to relax physically relax while work intellectually.” Student Body President, D’ Evian Cobbs explains her experiences with Spirit Week. “Spirit week as a freshman was something that I hated. I looked at the sophomores like they were crazy for dressing up but now as a senior, looking back, spirit week was a fun week for everyone to show their creativity. In my 10th grade year I was apart of the winning group for Tutor Crew Tuesday which made it fun and made me want to participate more. Through the years, spirit week has turned into a week that has had a lot of growth in our community. We have become more culturally diverse which is represented by Rep Your Flag Day / Heritage Day. Finally, we have been able to show our respect towards school culture while also having fun within the guidelines during Pajama Day. Moreover I feel that spirit week is a fun week that is enjoyable for everyone as long as you participate.”
AmeriCorps member and tutor, Ms. Peralta, commented “My favorite day of spirit week was Tutor Crew Tuesday, mainly because I had the opportunity to plan something with my tutorials that would unite them. The students seeing one another in matching costumes and outfits throughout the day allowed them to build some sort of comradery because they recognize that they had something in common and that was nice to see.” On the other hand, Ms. Marrin feels that her favorite day of the week was Heritage Day, “Students were looking forward to it all week, and it was a great way for them to show pride in where they are from. We were all able to learn a little more about each other, and the school was filled with lots of colors and flags.”