Split Assemblies Tackle Separate Issues for Middle School and Upper School

During Monday's assembly, our Middle Schoolers reflected on the importance of kindness and empathy, while our Upper Schoolers shared and addressed their thoughts regarding mental health, gun control, and student activism.
Dean of Students Macy Kleinfelder led the Middle School students in a workshop intended to help them be kind to others by following these steps - stop, pause, think, and feel. Mrs. Kleinfelder encouraged each student to pause when they are interacting with one another, ask themselves if what they are about to say will be worth it, consider what the consequences are, and to work towards the goal to helping others. After listening to a story about compassion and empathy, students were asked to write down their thoughts, advice, or a positive quote on colorful strips of paper, which will be kept in a Boost Jar. Anytime a student is feeling down or troubled, they can go and get a "boost" by reading kind words of encouragement and inspiration from the jar.
 
Meanwhile, the Upper School had a town-hall style assembly in the PAC on the topic of gun violence, mental health, mass shootings, and student activism. Assistant Head of School for Program Jane Hannon and Callum Tresnan '18 worked together to plan a conversation intended to give students a chance to share their thoughts and feelings in the wake of the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Students discussed a variety of issues relating to this latest tragedy, including fear-based decision making, the importance and impact of background checks, the complexity of mental illness, and the safety measures being taken at our own school. The underlying theme was the importance of taking an active role in your community and local political scene by voting and fighting for causes you believe in.
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