Submitted by South Salem Elementary School
After two years, the South Salem students and staff were able to hold their end of the
Year CITIZENSHIP Celebration. The need for us to gather and see the school community as
one is so important for our morale but also to build a sense of belongingness in all of us.
Students and adults expected to act as good citizens and SOAR (Safety First, Offer Kindness,
Act Responsibly, Respect Yourself and Others), need to participate in programs that bring us
together with that intention. Our Virginia Tiered System of Support (VTSS) Team knew that we
needed to make this happen! We were excited to have it, but we cautiously decided to hold two
separate assemblies instead of one to honor our students in grades K-2 and 3-5.
All students’ names were included in a drawing for displaying citizenship qualities at
school throughout the year. Students were given the opportunities to have their name included
additional times for the following reasons, demonstrating their social and emotional learning
skills standards “most of the time” on the progress report, if they were named “SOARing Falcon”
this school year, or displayed good citizenship that was recognized on a “Shout out!” over the
announcements given by Mrs. James, our principal! Entire classes had their names submitted
for the drawing if they had received the Café Falcon Award. This award is bestowed upon those
classes exemplifying good manners and positive lunchroom behaviors. Each Monday Morning,
over the announcements, after the pledge of allegiance, moment of silence, our SOAR chant
(verbalizing the mission of our VTSS program), Mrs. James shared Shout Outs and announced
the Café Falcon Award winners. It’s a fun and energizing way to start the week!
During our CITIZENSHIP Celebration, thirteen 5th graders were recognized as Golden
Falcons, students who demonstrate a history of good citizenship throughout their six years at
South Salem. Congratulations goes to Eli Yates, Ava Brewer, Audrey Lee, Luke Sorrells,
Cayson Boles, Alexis James, Marilyn Ramerez-Vera, Aiden Hudson, Chelsea Keba, Clara
Richerson, Marley Parsons, Laken Hyler, and James Fukumoto. A special recognition was given
in honor of Mrs. Rose, our Assistant principal, for her continued example of SOARing through
We want to thank all of our local sponsors for helping us make this opportunity for
students such a success! THIS is community and citizenship at its best! We had some new
participants this year, and students were excited to receive a free karate lesson from American
Freestyle and t-shirts from Spartan Silkscreen! Mac and Bob’s is so awesome, too, giving two
students the opportunity to take his or her family out to dinner, and two other students received
t-shirts! Chick Fil A, the Salem Ice Cream Parlor, and Lee Hi Lanes are businesses that also
gave back to our community. Dunkin Donuts showed up on the last day of school, and we
awarded 20 free individually packaged donuts! The students loved it!
THANK YOU, Salem, for making our students excited and motivated to follow the
routines and expectations we teach and to do their best to SOAR. We could not have done it
without these business partnerships.