Bala Cynwyd Middle School recently hosted their 2nd Annual Volleyball Tournament as students and staff gathered in the gymnasium for a fun-filled evening competing on the court for a good cause. The proceeds from the event benefited the school's Student Assistance Referral Team (START), which helps provide a safety net for students who need assistance with transition during their middle school years.
The START team at Bala Cynwyd has many responsibilities. First, the START team assists with connecting any students that may benefit from the support of an additional adult with staff mentors. To kick off the program, the START team has a mentor-mentee breakfast at the beginning of the school year. Mentors also check-in with their students regularly throughout the year. The START team also organizes after-school "Fun Days." The purpose of these days is to encourage all students to partake in fun and educational age-appropriate activities. This allows students to see staff members and other students in a different environment and leads to the development of new relationships. Lastly, the START team also identifies students who exhibit behaviors, actions, thoughts, etc. that might inhibit their learning. These referrals for high-risk behaviors can come from parents, teachers, counselors, administrators or students. Information is anonymously gathered from any adult in the building who has contact with a referred student in the school. Communication between families and the school is the foundation of the START Program. The START Team meets weekly to discuss individual students, plan START days and discuss and implement resources to positively impact our school.
The BCMS community was out in full force as many students, staff, family and friends were on hand to cheer for the teams and help support the START program. Grade level squads went head-to-head in tournament style play as they vied for coveted Knights' Volleyball Trophy, an ice cream sundae party for the winning team and, of course, bragging rights! To view a slideshow of pictures from throughout the evening, click on the image below!