Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Better Together: Uniting Students and Community in a Common Purpose

Student leaders from Rockwall High School, Rockwall-Heath High School, and the College & Career Academy joined Student Services staff for a Better Together High School Summit at the College & Career Academy in December 2018. Photo by Rockwall ISD.

(ROCKWALL, TX — March 26, 2019) Throughout the school year, Rockwall ISD Student Services and student leaders have teamed together to champion a mindset that’s changing the community for the better.

That mindset, known as Better Together, encompasses five basic beliefs:

  • A more civil community is a safer and more productive community.
  • Every person has a unique story and a unique purpose that is most effective when used to support others.
  • Our collective whole is stronger than anything that seeks to marginalize or tear someone down.
  • All children deserve to be embraced as though they were a child of our own.
  • Our children embody the hope and power to positively impact our world.

Those ideas have certainly been seen in action on campuses throughout the district. In December, RISD hosted a Better Together High School Summit at the Dr. Gene Burton College & Career Academy. The event saw more than 80 student leaders from Rockwall High School, Rockwall-Heath High School, and the College & Career Academy hold discussions with Student Services staff on how to promote a culture of civility in RISD schools through outreach opportunities and strategies.

Many schools in the district have taken up Better Together as their motto for the year, hosting activities to foster the mindset throughout their campus culture. Linda Lyon Elementary began adopting monthly Better Together days on their campus, where students and teachers lead lessons centering on themes found in RISD’s weekly newsletter, Better Together Communicator.

“A lot of these messages resonate with people, something they have within them that they’re feeling it, too,” said Dr. Tom Maglisceau, Rockwall ISD chief student services officer. “They like the fact that someone is now saying what’s on their heart, and they want to be a part of that call to leadership for good.”

During the last Silver Club meeting of the year on March 7, the Silver Hawks and Silver Jackets learned all about RISD’s Strategic Plan and the Better Together mindset. They focused on ‘Stand Up, Don’t Stand By’ digital citizenship – how to speak to one another online and on social media in a way that promotes social contagion for good.

“Social media plays a big part in everybody’s lives – not just kids but adults, too,” Maglisceau said. “The Better Together mindset is to champion others to look at social media as a place we can go to start a positive social contagion. It challenges the community to recognize negative social contagion when it appears to them, and to not pass that on by openly airing negativity online.”

Maglisceau added that the Rockwall community has always championed the Better Together mindset, so why not talk about it, celebrate it and be open about it?

“We want both students and adults to feel confident in championing their peers to spread this mindset and be proud that we are better together,” he said. “Because when that voice is one, it’s a pretty loud voice.”

By Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News. Photo courtesy of Rockwall ISD.

Our monthly print edition is delivered free to ~22,000 homes in Rockwall and Heath, TX.

To share your good news and events, email editor@BlueRibbonNews.com.

Subscribe to our email newsletter here.

Advertising: 214-342-8000 or advertising@BlueRibbonNews.com.