Cancellation of Morning Meetings makes modern solution


Photo by Kirstin Palasz

Students watch a virtual Morning Meeting in advisory

Kirstin Palasz, Photo Editor

Morning meetings and All School Meetings are staples at Lake Forest Academy that students either love or hate. Some students appreciate the discussions and presentations, while others find it boring. With new COVID-19 regulations, the system has changed: All School Meetings are no longer after 6th period on F- days and morning meetings are now one day per week virtually. 

With these new regulations, we can no longer have all students and faculty meet in Cressey, as no more than 50 people can be in a space at one time. For myself and most students, the loss of all school meetings has had more of a positive effect than negative. After sitting through six long classes, the last thing students want to do is gather in Cressey for 45 minutes, which can feel like an extra “class period”. It no longer adds an extra 15 minutes to the schedules, which is very helpful since we already end later this year. All school meetings were draining, and the two periods that followed felt more mentally exhausting than normal. Most students would agree that this loss has not affected them in the least. However, the downside to losing All School Meetings is that LFA no longer has the opportunity to gather the students and faculty in person to discuss important topics and issues, as well as hear from other students with their points of view. 

Morning meetings were originally every Tuesday and Thursday in between second and third period in Cressey. As the same COVID-19 regulations apply, morning meetings no longer exist in person. Without morning meetings, announcements are sent to the advisors and shared during advisory. This was a hard system since advisors were dependent on the email rather than in person. This made it difficult for advisors to make sure that they had all the information correct. Thus, virtual morning meetings were created. Kimberly Graham, Coordinator of Student Leadership & Student Life, English teacher, as well as the creator of the virtual morning meetings, mentions how this concept stemmed from the idea that our community needed to come together in some way to break up having advisory every morning. A zoom call every Thursday during the scheduled “advisory time” is dedicated to these announcements. 

Virtual morning meetings are a great idea, but in no way do they compare to having in person morning meetings. The meetings allow us to see the announcements in person, but since they are all being read from the prefects, the idea of individual announcements no longer exist. As with all school meetings, we still don’t get to be with the community as a whole. On the other hand, the meetings are a great way to break up the advisory system to give students and advisors a break from doing the same routine every day. 

Although the virtual morning meetings fall short, when compared to a traditional one, it is a great attempt at trying to bring our community closer to our previous “normal”. Graham mentioned how it is still very fluid and “things are subject to change every week”. Some of the new ideas that could be a possibility in the future are guest speakers and allowing international/remote students to connect. Graham said how “the feedback has been happy [thus far]”. This gives us hope that these meetings are set to continue throughout the year.  

Changes have been made all across campus as COVID-19 continues to be a pressing issue. Even though we are not able to all gather in Cressey, the school has done their best at trying to keep our community connected. The discussions we had during these meetings will be missed, but the loss of all school meetings has been fairly positive. It has been hard to create a system that will model what we are used to, but virtual morning meetings are the closest our community can get. Despite these challenges, everyone has done a great job at attempting to bring the community together as a whole.