For nearly two decades, Nueva's lower and middle school students — from PreK to eighth grade — have gathered together on Friday afternoons to share ideas, entertain each other, and be entertained. These weekly gatherings are a distinctive tradition that include hearing from guest speakers, experiencing visits from international exchange students and alums, and enjoying myriad musical performances.
What makes these gatherings unique? Many things.
According to Head of Middle School Liza Raynal, "Assembly helps us build a collective identity — one that reflects what we have done, and one that looks forward to what we will be doing and who we will become. We want to create intentional windows [that provide a lens across our campus and classrooms] so that we can all see what others are doing."
It's a challenge for any school to showcase what is happening in the next room, let alone at other grade levels and divisions. Assembly is designed to open the doors to the many classrooms on our Hillsborough campus and allow conversations to flourish between students, faculty, and staff.
Sharing to Promote Learning
During a recent Friday assembly, students joined teachers to present an overview of major concepts, skills, and tools being put to use in their classes across the Lower and Middle Schools in art and social-emotional learning (SEL).
Assembly coordinator Jim Morrison plans each weekly event by visiting classrooms, reading teacher blogs, and roving the campus to take the pulse of what's happening. “My hope is that our middle school students recognize their own growth and development in hearing about the experiences of their younger schoolmates, and conversely that our younger students are inspired by the partnership of fun and rigor they witness in the reports from the Middle School,” said Morrison.
“Across grades, content areas, and divisions, I see strong cohesion in terms of our pedagogical approach, authenticity of purpose, and opportunities for student empowerment on full display," said Morrison. "It is fun to bring seemingly disparate projects together in a weekly showcase, because once the teachers and students are given the space to reflect and present their work, the distinctive Nueva way always emerges and unifies the work.”