PUTNAM COUNTY – A new tradition started at Prescott South Middle School (PSMS) called Half-Way Day is a special celebration held halfway through the school year, in mid-December, for all 6th graders reminding students they are halfway to earning their high school diplomas and encouraging them to graduate from high school.
This new event marking students’ progress toward high school graduation is an effort that teacher Laura Allen hopes will become a tradition.
“This is a big deal. We know that statistically, not all of them will graduate,” Allen said. “We want to change that. Anything we can do on our end to get them excited about high school and their future are worthwhile.”
Allen worked with the Putnam County School System’s Career & Technological Education (CTE) program leaders to bring high school students to the event. The senior students represented were from Cookeville High School’s academic honors tracks that showcased six different industries part of the CTE program, including Mechatronics/Robotics/Automation, Agriculture, Cosmetology, Automotive Maintenance and Nursing Services.
This inaugural event for the PSMS is designed to create a vision toward high school completion, helping students understand what is possible in the upcoming years of education in Cookeville.
“We have invited parents, family and friends of the students. Our principals will be giving them a few words of encouragement, but the most impactful part, in my opinion, will be hearing from current high school students,” said Allen.
At the Half-Way Day ceremony, students walked the stage to get a certificate celebrating this milestone, stopping along the way to sign a banner as their pledge to graduate. After taking photos with their banner, it will be stored until the students return for the senior reception in six and half years. Those students will gather together that evening as the Class of 2028 with the original banner and take another photo commemorating their success.