By Evelyn Balladares
Caitlin Reilly is the Executive Director of Summit Preparatory Charter High School. She, along with Summit Prep Dean of Students Michael Green, plans All School Meetings. These meetings are held every Friday. The topics that All School Meetings cover are upcoming events or what is going on in school. Here are some things Ms. Reilly had to say about All School Meetings:
1. What is the purpose of All School Meetings?
“We use All School Meetings primarily to build school culture. It’s an opportunity to bring our whole community together to gather excitement about a certain event or topic,” Ms. Reilly said. “Also to make sure that our whole community is on the same page about something like norms and expectations in the school and how we celebrate in different ways.”
2. How does this help students?
“I think one thing it does is help students just feel the physical presence of our whole school community. When we put everyone into one room, they can see this is Summit Prep,” Ms. Reilly said. “It helps freshmen feel what it looks like to be a sophomore, a junior, a senior. I hope for seniors that it’s a time where we can celebrate them and the fact that they are seniors, to motive them for the leaders that they are. It helps students know different adults in the building and just sort of understand what we’re all about as a school.”
3. From the first three All School Meetings that we had, how do you think it has improved?
“I don’t fully know since I wasn’t here last year. The only comparison that I have is the time we did the Expeditions All School Meeting about Women’s Day. I know Mr. Green is working a lot on how we execute the All School Meetings very quickly, [and] what processes do we use to get students in and seated.” Ms. Reilly then added that the teachers have multiple roles, whether it be sitting with the students in each grade level’s designated area, participating in games or introducing the different segments of the All School Meeting. “I hope it was helpful to students, especially because there are a lot of new teachers in the building this year. I think it allowed students to put names to faces first.”
4. Do you think All School Meetings help all grade levels come together as a community? Why or why not?
“I do think that’s the purpose of it. I think sometimes we, more strongly than others, like leading to execute really well,” Ms. Reilly said. “Getting people to do the cheer well and things like that. My hope is that all grade levels feel that it’s a moment to come together as a community.”
5. What feedback have you gotten since then?
“Nobody has asked me questions about it or told me what the All School Meeting was like for them.”
Jennifer Soria, a Summit Prep sophomore student, attends All School Meetings and sometimes participates in the games. These games include guessing song lyrics or hula hoop passing. Here are some of the things that she said about All School Meetings:
1. Do you think All School Meetings are a good way to interact with all the teachers and students at Summit Prep (for example, when we play games with other grade levels)?
“Yes, I think that All School Meeting is a good way to interact with teachers and students,” Soria said. “All the teachers are in the same room. Playing games is a good way to interact.”
2. Do All School Meetings motivate you to achieve your goals? Why or why not?
“Usually in All School Meetings we talk about other stuff,” Soria said. “In school meetings, I feel like we don’t talk about achieving goals. They usually say the events that are going on.”
3. What do you think Ms. Reilly can do to improve All School Meetings?
“Interact more, play more games with the whole school,” Soria said. “Games so everyone will know each other.”
4. Do you think All School Meetings help you communicate with other students/grade levels? Why or why not?
“It doesn’t really help unless you’re up playing the game,” Soria said. “Each grade level is separate from the other grade levels. We can’t really communicate with the other grade levels.”
5. Why do you think we have these meetings?
“To communicate,” Soria said. “We don’t communicate unless you’re playing the game.”