Assembly: Making Connections and Building Skills

              One of Corlears' strengths as a school is its supportive community that helps our students thrive. From parents mingling in the lobby to students pairing up for Book Buddies, it is clear that families and students are connecting with one another on a daily basis. Children in all age groups know their peers, both younger and older, and support their learning. Each Friday Morning, students ages 3 and up meet for Assembly, where they share what they have learned throughout the week and offer fellow students and parents a glimpse into their classroom

The sense of community felt at Assembly is palpable. Students at varying age levels take pride in sharing their learning experiences with their peers.  Each share is unique and can take on a variety of different forms. Some classes sing a new song they have learned, some will perform a dance, while others might walk around the room showing off images from a field trip or a new craft project. Each share brings students closer together and allows them to be part of each others' experience. This time also serves as an opportunity for reflection. As the 10s watch the younger students report on their topics of study and demonstrate their new skills, they reflect on their early days at Corlears and the journey that has led them to this point. Conversely, young students observe and learn from their older peers; getting a glimpse of what they will expect as they rise through the different age levels. The connections students make during Assembly are meaningful and bring them closer together; creating a network of support for all. Visit the library during After School and you’ll see students of all ages playing and learning from one another, demonstrating how the relationships they build transcend grade level and age. That sense of connection is felt by the parents, too. 8/9s parent, Staci, says “I love watching the kids. I love participating as a parent. Whenever we sing the Corlears song it always brings me to tears - it’s such a special moment for us as a community.”  That sense of support is part of what encourages our students to excel and grow into the confident leaders they ultimately become.

From start to finish, each Assembly is run by the students.  As the leaders of the school, the 10s host each session. There are many instances where not a single adult speaks during the thirty minute session; highlighting just how organized and well spoken these students are. 10s teacher, Elisse, works with her class each week to write a script that they fill follow on Friday morning. “It’s a rite of passage to be the host,” says Elisse of the privilege, and the 10s use their opportunity to make a lasting mark on the community as they prepare to move on. Each week, one student in the class is given the job of being the “precept reader” and assigned with the task of finding a quote to share with the other students at assembly. Each precept shared is meaningful, and imparts wisdom on their younger peers. Throughout their journey at Corlears, and in each aspect of their experience, children are empowered as learners. By the time students reach the 10s, they exude the confidence they have built over the years. Their ability to self advocate and express themselves is remarkable, and the foundation for these skills begins with articulating their thoughts  and experiences each Friday morning.

Assembly is yet another example of Corlears’ multi-layered approach to education. As students share, they are not only building relationships with their schoolmates, but practicing essential skills that will support their educational experience throughout their time at Corlears and beyond. Children stand up to share; practicing and strengthening their reading skills as they read notes they have created about their week. Perhaps the most impressive skill students develop at Assembly is that of public speaking. From the age of three, our students are practicing speaking in front of a large group comprised of peers, parents and educators. Ks parent, Malinda, remarks that she has been “really pleased to see Assembly throughout the year,” recognizing that "it gives students a chance to practice public speaking at an early age.” Becoming confident speakers gives children the tools they need for self expression and provides a foundation from which to draw as they reach the 10s and prepare to enter middle school.

Each Assembly is a unique experience, and serves as an opportunity for students to reflect on their week and share their accomplishments.  Parents and administrators share in their excitement and each member of the school feels a sense of pride in seeing students grow as learners and as speakers. During Assembly it becomes clear that Corlears is much more than a school - it is a community.