School Assembly Guidance (July 2016 School Leader Update)
Throughout the year, many schools bring in outside speakers to talk with students about various issues that impact students to include appropriate use of social media, drinking and driving, drug use, etc. While these can be great educational experiences for your student, it is also important to make sure that the provider is meeting all of your expectations. Here are guidelines for planning assemblies for your students:
- Establish and/or revise policies/procedures for determining when and how to contract with an outside provider conducting a student assembly or activity.
- Research your provider; a quick Google search can provide valuable information.
- Analyze the program to assess possible violation of the district discrimination/equity policies and procedures.
- Vet all assembly materials/handouts prior to the assembly.
- Evaluate outcomes following any assembly to determine the effectiveness of the assembly’s desired learning.
- Establish processes for assessment of the effect or outcome of student assemblies (e.g., surveys).
- Ensure message is age/content appropriate.
- If the assembly may be emotional for students, develop and implement a plan to have district counselors, trained Area Education Agency (AEA) personnel, or other trusted mental health staff available to students who need support.
- Conduct assemblies earlier in the day to ensure students have access to staff to discuss the message and intent of the assembly prior to dismissal of the school day.
- Clarify for all constituents (students, staff, parents, guardians, community members) the difference between after-school or evening programs and school-sponsored activities.
- Develop goals or outcomes for school-wide assemblies. Outcomes should align with Iowa Core or American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Standards (e.g., respect alternative points of view; recognize, accept, respect and appreciate individual differences).