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Student Council 2015-2016 at Open House

Congratulations to the Fourth and Fifth Grade students appointed to the Lower School Student Council! This is the second year of Student Council in Love Hall, and students are eager to fulfill leadership roles. Throughout the year, members will sharpen their leadership skills by working with a partner classroom of younger students, putting on an assembly, and assisting with school-wide endeavors such as Admissions Open House. In fact, the Council’s first official duty was to welcome prospective parents to yesterday’s Open House. Eighteen Council members participated as greeters while visitors streamed into the building, and then most of the students were committed to other areas as well, such as Chorus, P.E., Science, and Band. The remaining students spent the rest of their time stationed in the hallways, speaking with parents and answering questions. Visitors enjoyed obtaining the perspectives of student leaders on Lower School goings-on. One parent remarked with a laugh, “The polite young man we just spoke to in the hallway asked me if we needed help navigating our way around. When we told him we didn’t know where we were heading, he asked, ‘Would you like a suggestion? My favorite class is Design Thinking, and I think you’d love to see it.’ So, we’re heading that way!”

Thank you to Student Council for the Saturday participation and to the admissions team for including the students!

2015-2016 Lower School Student Council: Fourth graders Grayson G., Lizzie, Andrew, Grayson C., Kate M., Willem, Campbell H., Laura, Layla, Lucas, and Sydney; Fifth graders Olivia Mc., Campbell D., Kate L., Riley, Hewlett, Katherine, Caroline, Olivia Mo., Abby, Sabrina, and James.

Ready to welcome prospective parents to Love Hall!

Ready to welcome prospective parents to Love Hall!

IMG_3211 IMG_3212

Right this way to the Hamilton Room, please...

Right this way to the Hamilton Room, please…

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Student Council information

It’s time for Student Council! The Lower School Student Council is made up of students who demonstrate excellent behavior, work habits, leadership qualities, and commitment to the school. At all times, Student Council members follow the school expectations of being safe, respectful, and responsible. Students participate in meetings (typically twice a month during morning meeting), work as a team with fellow Council members and faculty members, partner with a buddy classroom to serve as a link between the students and the Council and disseminate important information, and assist in planning and attending special events to benefit our school and community.

All Fourth and Fifth Grade students are welcome to apply for Student Council. Two applicants from each homeroom will be appointed. Interested students should pick up two papers from my office: Part 1 (two-sided form to be completed by the student) and Part 2 (teacher recommendation form to be handed to a homeroom or special area teacher of the student’s choice). Applications are due no later than 8:00am on Friday, October 30. A committee of faculty members will read applications and teacher recommendation forms, and appointed students will be announced by Friday, November 6. We’re looking forward to great student leadership this year! Email kate.strother@westminster.net with questions.

Want to see some of the activities Student Council members were involved with last year? Click here!

Student Council’s work with partner classrooms

Members of the Lower School Student Council have worked throughout the year with their assigned partner classrooms to develop leadership skills, disseminate information, and build relationships with students in other grades. Two Council members work with each Pre-First class, and one member is assigned to each First, Second, and Third Grade class.

Recently, classroom teachers were surveyed about the Council members’ monthly Morning Meeting visits. Are the older students demonstrating leadership skills? Do the younger students seem receptive to them? Are the Council members scheduling their Morning Meeting visits beforehand? Would the teachers like for members to visit again in April and May? Below are teachers’ responses. You will see that the Fourth and Fifth Grade student leaders seem to be doing a great job in Love Hall!

  • “Clara rocks as a student rep!”
  • “We love Hunter. He always comes in ready and willing to do anything. Our students seem to look up to him and love it when he visits. He’s great at reinforcing certain behavioral expectations that we try to encourage in our class.”
  • “We are enjoying having Kristina as our rep. She has demonstrated good leadership skills. She definitely takes her position seriously.”
  • “Ben is wonderful, and we would love to have him again.”
  • “Price has done a nice job this year! The kids enjoy having him come to morning meeting. We would love another visit in April and May.”
  • “We love Julia and welcome her anytime!”
  • “Our friend Christian was great. He asked about what we were doing in Second Step and was politely involved. We loved it. We were glad to have him pop in and be in our morning meeting!”
  • “Hewlett did a great job helping. He was definitely on top of it.”
  • “Henry was great in our morning meeting. He shared the concerns of the Student Council, particularly wasting food and bullying. Yes, we would like an April visit and a May visit.”
  • “We absolutely love having Campbell visit us during Morning Meeting!!! She is doing a great job and the children really like having her there.”
partner classroom 3 picstitch March 2015

Student Council members read books to captive audiences in their partner classrooms

partner classroom 2 picstitch March 2015

From participating in Morning Meeting’s circle greeting to pledging allegiance to the flag, Fourth and Fifth Grade Student Council members integrate themselves into their partner classrooms

partner classroom 1 picstitch March 2015

Is there a better way to start the day than with a fun high-five greeting during Morning Meeting in Pre-First?

Student Council leads assembly honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In December, the Lower School faculty Diversity Committee asked if Student Council members would be interested in presenting at January’s assembly honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The answer was a resounding, “Yes!” During the past two weeks, the Student Council kids wrote and rehearsed their speaking parts during morning meetings, lunches, and recess periods together. To structure the first part of the presentation, students used MLK’s six beliefs outlined in the book, Love Will See You Through. They connected the beliefs to ways that everyone can stand up for their own beliefs today. The second part of the plan was a reading of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech by the Fourth Grade representatives from Mrs. Carroll and Ms. Heller’s class. The third part involved seven students standing up to share their dreams for the future. Finally, the presentation would conclude with a joint prayer by four Fifth Grade girls.

Today, the students arrived at 7:30 for a final rehearsal before the 8:15 assembly. All four parts of the presentation went smoothly and truly honored Dr. King, a result of the students’ teamwork and assistance from Nyvette Gray and Julie Boggs, members of the Diversity Committee. Enjoy the photos below!

Student Council at Open House

Saturday’s Open House was a great success! Hundreds of prospective parents toured Love Hall to see and learn about the amazing things happening in our building each day. Mr. Evans, Mr. McKnight, Mr. Spiotta, Mrs. Mitchell, a Westminster senior, and others welcomed everyone to Westminster. First graders sang French and Spanish songs and the beautiful alma mater.

A few weeks ago, the admissions team invited Student Council members to participate in this special event as greeters, and 10 students were able to spend the morning representing Westminster in a fun way. Six of the students already were helping with Open House as members of chorus/band/orchestra, so they greeted for 30 minutes before fulfilling their musical commitments. Four students spent the rest of their time stationed in the hallways, speaking with parents and answering questions. They looked so sharp in their fine attire and snazzy nametags, and parents seemed to enjoy obtaining the perspectives of a few student leaders on Lower School goings-on.

Thank you, Student Council, for your hard work, and thank you, admissions team, for including these eager Fourth and Fifth Graders!

SC Open House picstitch 2 11-15-14 SC Open House picstitch 1 11-15-14

Student Council discipline matrix work

As a school, we are embracing “The Three B’s” as guidelines for behavior: Be Safe, Be Respectful, and Be Responsible. Who can argue with any of those? At least one of those guidelines applies to almost any situation! It’s important for students to understand the expectations not only in a general sense but also in specific situations. What does “Be Safe” look like in the lunchroom? in the bathroom? at carpool? What does “Be Respectful” look like in the hallways? So that the expectations are clear for behavior in each public space, every classroom filled out a discipline matrix. Together, students and teachers talked about the expectations for behavior they felt were appropriate for these spaces.

Now we are working on compiling these matrices into one schoolwide matrix to be published to guide all students, families, and faculty/staff. Last week, Student Council members reviewed all of the matrices, circling the expectations they believe would apply to the entire student body. We will continue this work in the coming weeks.

SC matrix work, Nov 2014 SC matrix work II, Nov 2014

Student Council helping with Habitat for Humanity collection

Student Council members are excited about helping with the Habitat for Humanity donation collection! They have been visiting their partner classrooms to remind students to take their banks to school on collection days. Today, a handful of Fourth Grade Student Council members gave up their recess to assist with organizing the donations collected so far. Under the supervision of Mrs. Boggs, the students organized the bills and then separated the coins into different containers. The next steps are to continue organizing the donations, count the bills and coins, and present the money to the Upper School!

coins

Student Council members love to organize anything and everything!

Student Council 2014-2015

Congratulations to the Fourth and Fifth Grade students appointed to the Lower School Student Council! Reading the applicants’ short answer responses and essays during the past couple of weeks was a wonderful and encouraging experience. It was clear that students put thought and effort into their writing. Appointing just 20 out of 72 applicants was a difficult task. A special thank you for their help and time goes to all of the Fourth and Fifth Grade teachers, Becky McKnight, and Julie Boggs.

Throughout the year, Student Council members will develop and lead projects, assist with ongoing enterprises, sharpen their leadership skills, and partner with all classrooms to disseminate information. Our first monthly meeting will be very soon, and we’ll be off and running! I can’t wait to see what these Council members will do with their new position of leadership!

The Westminster Schools
Lower School Student Council
2014-2015

Megan (Carroll/Heller)
Olivia (Carroll/Heller)
Hewlett (Frame/Lancaster)
Campbell (Frame/Lancaster)
Henry (Mahoney/Sadler)
Ava (Mahoney/Sadler)
Christian (Shande/Lee)
Hana (Shande/Lee)
Allie (Alberty)
Ashley (Alberty)
Ben (Allen)
Hunter (Allen)
Kristina (Jackson)
Clara (Jackson)
Price (Jagger)
Mia (Jagger)
Gigi (Plunkett)
Kathleen (Plunkett)
Christopher (Villasana)
Julia (Villasana)

Student Council: 72 applications submitted!

This morning at 8:00am was the deadline for turning in Student Council applications, and wow! Fourth Graders submitted 32 Student Council applications, and Fifth Graders submitted 40 applications. From these 72 applications, two students per homeroom will be appointed for a total of 20 members.

In addition to the obvious enthusiasm these kids are feeling, they’re optimistic, too! Today, students asked: “When will you announce the people who get to be on the Council?” “Will you announce it over the loudspeaker?” “Will you have a big assembly and call us on stage?” “Will you please, please announce it on my birthday?”

While the Fifth Grade teachers, chaperones, and I are on the Fifth Grade overnight retreat next Monday through Wednesday, Mr. McKnight will read the applications. A few other faculty members will read blindly and score the applications using a rubric. When we return, additional faculty members will do the same. It is likely the Council will be announced during the week of Sept. 22-26. The potential projects for the Council are piling up, so we’re anxious to put these leaders to work!

Parents, thank you for your continued support! Continue to call and email me with any questions.

Student Council applications

A quick note to parents of Fourth and Fifth Grade students: Students have asked if parents can check their Student Council essays for grammar. This is allowed. All ideas and structure must come from the students, of course, but parents may give the writing a “once over” for grammatical assistance.

Also, please remind your children to follow the instructions as written. Students should not deviate from the structure of the application because uniformity is key to ensuring the fairness of the process. Adding extra “flair” or anything digital to the application will make it difficult for committee members to evaluate an application blindly.

Applications are due in my office no later than 8:00am this Friday, Sept. 12.

As always, contact me with any questions. Thank you for your support!