Swanton Middle School is planning on implementing a soft skills initiative this school year. The “Swanton Seven” were officially announced by principal Matt Smith at the August school board meeting.
“The Swanton Seven is devoted to promoting a positive culture and creating well rounded citizens,” said Smith.
The Swanton Seven are seven skills that the middle school staff and administration plan on teaching all middle school students to help better prepare them for their future educational and job environments. Some “soft skills” of the Swanton Seven are learning a firm handshake, exhibiting good listening skills, utilizing conversation skills, taking pride in themselves and their work, and the importance of working hard.
These skills and others will help the 5th-8th graders of Swanton develop or further develop these abilities that will be important to know for the rest of their lives. “[When choosing the Swanton Seven] we really wanted to look at what we can do that will matter and that the kids will embrace,” Smith said of the soft skills SMS will be focusing on.
Part of the implementation of the Swanton Seven is putting each student in one of four “houses”: groups where each student belongs, split evenly among each grade and teachers as well.
“All the teachers already know their houses and are very excited to get started. It will be in their houses where they will get points for exemplifying the Swanton Seven, kind of a competition to push the students to work for these soft skills.” said Smith of the houses.
The main goal of The Swanton Seven is to raise the overall standard for Swanton middle school students. Smith and the rest of the SMS staff are excited to see the results of the program seen in the student development.