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Do we get more than spirit out of Spirit Week?

posted Sep 10, 2017, 3:08 AM by HSD Principal
Spirit Week takes a lot of students' - and teachers' - focus off academic matters and takes time away from learning, but we continue to value it and schedule it every year. It turns out there are some good reasons for that, even though we may not have been able to articulate them.

Several studies, including this one by Harris Poll, have found a positive correlation between students having an affinity for their school ("school spirit") and academic success.

Just how Google is known for its culture in the business world, achievement is linked to spirit in the educational realm.

Full disclosure since we want to model proper evaluation of sources: this study was conducted by an independent polling company, but was commissioned by a conglomerate that sells athletic wear, class rings, yearbooks, and sporting equipment to schools.

And this study (conducted in New Zealand!) also found positive correlations between school spirit and academic success, but in this instance the results were connected with how these types of activities make students feel:

[School spirit activities are] a vehicle for conveying the values and the ethos of the school... In addition to the collective values which are part of the school identity, school spirit played a role in reinforcing individual worth. “School spirit says this school is a place where I am valued and wanted”.