Assemblies & Meetings

Morning Assembly

Every week, Lower School students and faculty have a Morning Assembly. This assembly develops a strong sense of community in the Lower School while allowing students to acquire and practice valuable public speaking and presentation skills. The Morning Assembly program includes celebrating students' birthdays, singing songs, acknowledging achievement and student participation in the greater community, student and teacher announcements, poetry, skits, student work, and Words of Wisdom from the Lower School Head. It concludes with the singing of the Academy's alma mater. Each homeroom class is responsible for organizing at least one assembly during the year. Parents are welcome to join in this weekly event. 

Morning Meeting

Many classrooms in the Lower School start each day with a Morning Meeting, which is part of the Responsive Classroom Program. Morning Meetings celebrate the uniqueness of each child and bring a classroom together as a community. Children have a time to greet each other, share thoughts, and practice being good listeners. Morning Meetings help children know that they play an important role in the classroom as well as in the school.

The Responsive Classroom curriculum inspires daily practice and is an integral part of respectful learning each and every day in the Lower School. Information about the Responsive Classroom program can be found at

Student Council

Student Council is an extracurricular activity through which students can become involved in the affairs of the school. In the fall, Grade 4 and 5 classrooms elect two members from each homeroom to serve on the Student Council. New members are elected for the second semester, and Grade 3 classrooms are also represented at this time. The offices of president, vice-president and secretary are elected by the members of the council to facilitate the organization of council duties and to give students experience in roles of leadership.

Student Council is often involved in service projects in the school and community. Projects supported by Lower School Student Council include the Make-a-Wish Foundation, local food banks, an annual holiday toy drive, Box Tops for Education, Summerbridge Pittsburgh, book donations for schools in South America, and creating educational posters for the International School of Cluj in Romania.



The Halloween Parade is a favorite tradition in the Lower School where students and teachers wear costumes to school. During the morning assembly, students speak into a microphone and tell the audience, which includes parents, the name of their Halloween character. At the end of the assembly, the students enjoy a parade through the Middle and Senior School hallways. Parents greet students when they return to the classrooms with a snack and a special activity.

Hall Sing

The long-standing tradition of Hall Sing is an event eagerly awaited for by students, faculty, staff and parents. The Academy community is invited to gather in the halls of the Lower School prior to winter break to sing holiday songs in anticipation of various winter holidays and in tribute to diverse traditions and languages.

Trips & Community Service


Special activities and field trips are planned throughout the year to supplement the curriculum. Pittsburgh and the surrounding area offer students a plethora of opportunities for field trips. Visiting artists and guest speakers, thematic activities related to classroom units of study, outdoor exploration, and overnight programs extend the classroom experience in imaginative ways. Grade 5 spends five days at the McKeever Environmental Learning Center near Erie, Pennsylvania, learning about nature.

Community Service

To promote community awareness and develop a sense of service to others, all Lower School classes take part in community service projects. They may include visiting a senior citizen center, making holiday crafts for a service agency, helping a family in need, planting flowers on campus, or raising money for various global causes.

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