• As part of Connect Month, MBJH held a canned food drive Nov. 23-24 that benefited the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama.  

    Dec. 2, 2020 — In recent years, Mountain Brook Junior High has held a Connect Week to foster community within the school. 

    The idea originated from the Spartan Council student leadership group and has resembled a homecoming week commonly celebrated at high schools, with activities such as door decorating, dress-up days, and a pep rally. 

    Connect Week evolved this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of being held in October over five days, it took place throughout November and expanded into Connect Month. 

    “I think the ultimate goal, this year specifically, was to make up for the mental and emotional disconnection from social distancing and the Green and Gold hybrid schedule,” MBJH Principal Donald Clayton said. “We still ran a safe Connect Month with COVID protocols, but mentally and emotionally it was just a chance to get outside of the struggle.” 

    The month started with a dress-up week that featured a Tie-Dye Day, Western/Country Day, and Favorite Season/Holiday Day. The following week was designated as Veterans Day Week and included a Veterans Day e-Assembly and door decorating competition among grade levels. 

    MBJH celebrated Staff Appreciation Week from Nov. 16-20 to connect with custodians, lunchroom workers, office personnel, and instructional aides, along with the school resource officer and school nurse. 

    The month then culminated in a canned food drive Nov. 23-24 that allowed MBJH to connect with the community. The school donated 950 canned food items to the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama just before Thanksgiving. 

    Clayton labeled the Connect Month experience a success and said it pushed MBJH toward its goal of becoming the most welcoming school in America. 

    “We know that our kids, when they connect with one another, feel welcome at our school,” Clayton said. “They feel like they’re at home, and we know it’s a better overall experience.” 

    Notably, MBJH was recognized earlier this year by the nonprofit advocacy group Character.org as a 2020 Promising Practice for the Connect program it implemented during the 2019-2020 school year. 

    The Connect program is related to Connect Month but differs in its delivery. Through the program, all MBJH students engage in a weekly character education lesson taught by their homeroom teacher. 

    Connect is on pause this school year due to the pandemic but will resume when circumstances permit.