School CultureAt Brisas, there is a dynamic interaction between our staff and the families we serve. We are united in the belief that the beginning of a child’s education defines the future, and we work together to give our students the best learning experience possible during these critical formative years providing an environment that fosters learning and is grounded in our Core Values.
We value the strong relationship and synergy we’ve built with our community and truly believe that together we achieve more! Evidence of Brisas Spirit is everywhere on campus; visitors feel it as they come into our school and see it in our staff and student body. Positive energy is impacting student learning here. Our students achieve more because they know they are supported, and we do our best to create a fun learning atmosphere for them. Each school year begins with a new theme focus e.g., space, jungle adventure, superheroes, enchanted forest, nautical. Our hallways transform into a visual wonderland for our students. Our themes provide unity and creativity and a fun environment in which to learn.
We do our best to create a family-friendly environment through our many traditions. We welcome our students and families at Meet the Teacher and Curriculum Night when grade-level standards are shared with our parents. Together with our PTSO partners, we host several annual events that bring our community together. Our Ice Cream Social is a welcoming event for our community to interact and get to know each other. Our popular Pumpkin Walk begins during the day when parents come to every classroom to carve pumpkins with their children, who then return in a costume that night to find our courtyard aglow with more than 800 unique jack-o-lanterns. There’s always a record turnout for our Turkey Trot when parents come to run with their children and then stay for lunch. Our Decades Dance is a chance for students to dress up in their favorite decade attire and dance the night away with food and fun for everyone. Spring brings our Art Walk, in which families enjoy touring the hallways covered with artworks created by our talented students, and our Spring Carnival, where families enjoy games, bounces, staff in the dunk tank, and the principal kissing a pig! Our end-of-year traditions include a School Assembly with a video tribute and a Staff vs. 5th Grade Kickball Game.
Brisas Spirit is evident as soon as anyone steps onto campus. The inner courtyard is enhanced with many colorful mosaics created by former Brisas students, with hand-painted legacy tiles from families, and with a giant heart of retired educators’ handprints. A giant mosaic Gecko welcomes students as they enter our playground area. Our hallways, elaborately decorated in our yearly theme, are enhanced with special bulletin boards that recognize students’ accomplishments and a historical remembrance of each year in our school’s story. Staff and students proudly wear their school shirts each Friday and dress up for several special events throughout the year.
Brisas takes numerous steps to solve problems and confront challenges to realize our Vision, to nurture students in a culture of PEACE. Each day during announcements, the administration reminds students to resolve conflicts in a peaceful way. Students are spotlighted by staff on an on-going basis as part of our Positive Behavior Intervention and Support System (PBIS). To recognize students who show excellence in the cafeteria, Gordon the Great Going Gecko travels to their classrooms for a week’s stay capturing all his adventures in his writing journal. We also track Peace Days (days without behavioral referrals to the office) and when the student body achieves increments of 15 Peace Days, they vote on a school-wide celebration (e.g., crazy hair day, pajama day, sports day). When we reach our top goal of 100 Peace Days, we celebrate with a school-wide Peace Parade and take a student body picture; past shapes of which have included a peace sign, a rainbow, a heart, and most recently an A+.
Brisas encourages positive interactions on a daily basis. Part of our Kyrene Honor Code states, “Students will act in a manner that is honest and worthy of trust and confidence, demonstrate personal responsibility and accountability, demonstrate respect for self and others, and display their personal best and strive for excellence.” Students learn Lifeskills® through classroom lessons which are modeled and reinforced by all Brisas staff. Multiple reward systems are in place to recognize students who demonstrate these behaviors; for example, they receive a certificate, sign the Book of Stars, and have their names read daily on our televised morning announcements.
We want all of our Brisas Geckos to feel that they belong to our school family. Positive peer interaction and cooperation begins early with our Learning Buddies. Every preschool and kindergarten class partners with an intermediate grade class to engage in social and learning activities. For students who struggle with peer relationships, our school psychologist offers support groups with lessons that help build social skills and self-esteem. We also offer an alternate recess program called Gecko Getaway to give 10-12 students per grade a smaller indoor recess environment. We also strive to meet the needs of our special education students through inclusion and provide sensitivity training to prepare all students for a culturally and socially diverse environment. Our Buddy Club also partners a special needs student with a peer to encourage social skills and friendship. At Brisas, we care...and it is evident in how our students, staff and parents work together to create a positive, nurturing, and enriching school climate.
Last Modified on September 8, 2021