Community Meeting (K-5)
Lawrence Community Meeting is a bi-weekly gathering of the school community (K-5) and runs about 30 minutes.
The primary purpose of Community Meeting is to maintain a sense of community in the school. Children, staff and parents develop a feeling of connectedness to the rest of the school. Community Meeting also provides a forum for celebrating learning in the school as students or classes share. Children learn how to be a respectful audience – listening and demonstrating appreciation in appropriate ways. Community Meeting provides opportunities for all students to build self-confidence and public speaking skills. Finally, it provides a time to acknowledge and celebrate different cultures and special days.
Three fifth graders serve as “hosts” for Community Meeting. They are in charge – giving the signal for quiet and introducing and thanking the various people who contribute or share. Community Meetings begins with an opening greeting, the pledge of allegiance, and a patriotic song. A series of short “sharings” follow. Students may sign up on their own to share and audition with the principal during lunch or recess. Typical sharings might include: reciting a poem, telling a riddle, sharing an aspect of a culture or holiday, or playing an instrument. Teachers and specialists may also arrange sharings by small groups or whole classes. These typically focus on projects or work done in the classroom or are related to a special day. There is no required schedule for class sharing. Teachers choose when and whether or not to participate.
Comments from the principal or vice principal are a regular feature at the end of Community Meeting. This time can be used to recognize people in the school community, to welcome new students or say good-bye to students who are leaving. It is also a time to raise issues and remind students about expectations such as hallway behavior or recess. Short role-plays can be done to model appropriate behavior or solutions.