Murray High School Support Systems

by Charlotte Wellen
Our school works well because we have developed many support systems to take care of one another and to help us all better meet our needs. This leads to happiness and caring in any environment, but it is especially appreciated in a school and results directly in students successfully meeting their academic goals.

Any one of these systems would be extremely useful, but together they create a web of support that is all encompassing. Whichever way a member of the Murray community turns, there is a system and at least one loving person there to support them. A partial list of these support systems follows:

1. Choices
2. Mediations (between students, between students and teachers/administrators, and between
teachers, or other adults in the building)
3. Five-minute Walks
4. Putting Yourself in Choices
5. RAMPS Commitment
6. Class Meetings
7. Class Mediations
8. Family Mediations
9. Parent Support Group
10. Community Meetings – decisions based on consensus, taking ownership of the successful
running of the school
11. Mastery Learning – never admitting defeat academically
12. English Through Leadership, Leadership Elective and Social Justice
— The stated goal of these classes: to transform Murray into a happier place.
13. Quality Products
14. Faculty Meetings 2x weekly
— One to address needs of particular students
— One to share successful classroom practices
15. Community Days
16. Pancake Breakfasts, Bagel Breakfasts on Test Days, and Ice Cream Socials
17. Project-Based Education that encompasses the county motto: Rigor, Relevance, and
18. Differentiation of Instruction for student needs and learning styles
19. Cooperative Learning Teams
20. Teaching students, staff, parents, and other community members Choice Theory, Reality
Therapy, and Lead Management
21. Incomplete Make-up Days
22. SAT Meetings (Student Assistance Team meetings, led by the student having problems)
23. Combination of grade levels and ability levels
24. Inclusion of all special education students, with Quality School expectations for all
25. Support of teacher/student special interests (For instance, this trip to Ireland, or pursuit of
an individual project, such as earning an English credit through a cross country trip
that results in final products that will exceed state requirements.)
26. Retreats
27. Frequent Teambuilding Activities
28. Returning Students Teaching these Systems to New Students
29. Clear non-negotiables
30. Willingness to be flexible in order to encourage evolution of the system overall

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