Students at Bronxville Middle School – who are members of the Middle School Organization club – are gaining leadership skills, creating a sense of unity among their peers and making efforts to address the needs of their school community.
During weekly student-led discussions, students are able to openly and candidly share their ideas with peers, as teachers listen in. The students have been predominantly discussing data from the Challenge Success survey, which was distributed to middle and high school students last spring and measured their perspectives on homework, extracurricular activities, sleep, physical health, stress, parent expectations, academic engagement, academic integrity and teacher support.
“Teachers have an opportunity to listen, in an authentic setting, to not only some of the concerns of students, but most importantly, possible solutions to remedy some of the highlighted areas of need perceived by the student body,” said Michael Marino, a teacher and adviser to the club.
As a result, members of the Middle School Organization have been actively creating effective teacher-student relations and communication, and providing a safe and positive school environment for all students. In the fall, the students organized various fundraisers and donated $122 to Bundles of Joy, a nonprofit organization that provides essentials to babies and toddlers in low-income communities. In addition, the MSO hosted a schoolwide ugly sweater contest during the holiday season to promote school unity.
“The purpose of the MSO is for students to have a voice in school policy, and plan events and activities that the entire middle school can participate in,” Marino added. “Their goal at the end of the day is to make the middle school a better place to be a part of.”