Daily All-School Community Meeting
10 a.m. is a magical time at University High School. Our classrooms are empty and our hallways look abandoned, but walk by our auditorium and you’ll hear a bustling room full of laughter and applause. Each day, the entire UHS population — students, teachers, staff, everyone — gathers for 15 minutes in a community meeting to make announcements, share successes, and talk about topics that matter. It’s a simple thing, spending time together each day. But it’s what makes our school a true community.
A typical community meeting — though, truth be told, most students and faculty call them morning meetings — begins with students and faculty making announcements, and then there is a brief presentation. Sometimes the presentation is operational, like when the Spirit Club teaches the whole school a new cheer. Sometimes it’s educational, like when the Eco-Blazers teach us about proper recycling. Sometimes it’s heartfelt, like when Ms. Dean speaks on Veterans Day or when a student shares their passion with us. Whatever the topic, this shared experience helps us grow together as a community.
On Fridays, community meeting becomes an hour-long assembly that features a visiting speaker. Past assembly speakers have included U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, the national tour for Invisible Children, Dr. Pierre Atlas, and Rusty Redenbacher.
I don’t hate technology, or social media, but I do hate it when things fall out of balance. When we lose the ability to move at a speed not measured in mega-bytes per second. When we say things online we would never say to someone’s face. When the time we spend in the digital world outweighs our time in the real one, together.
And that’s why I love morning meetings. Because we’re all here together. We’re all in a moment together. And sometimes from the back of room, I feel it, that slowing, that immersion, that unified pulse, that thing we had to think to look for.Alicia LaMagdeleine