School Spirit

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“School spirit” is one of those amorphous concepts that can’t readily be put into hard numbers. Despite the lack of those numbers, school spirit matters a great deal. School spirit is often the backbone supporting student motivation. Because districts with higher test scores have less to worry about in terms of government penalties, those schools can concentrate more on enrichment options, spirit activities, and after-school sports and clubs. The impact on day-to-day life in lower-scoring schools is felt more as an absence than a presence. In those lower-scoring schools, students eagerly await the busses that will spirit them away. Shortly after the final bell, the hallways are quiet and empty. In a school with higher scores and more resources, the hallways always have stragglers, students waiting to run laps, fire pots, play games, or build robots — students who are still part of the learning adventure.