With timing purposefully coordinated with the State of the Union address given by the President of the United States on February 14th, the State of the School outlines the impact that Student Council has had this school year, as well as shares a sports recap, highlights extracurricular clubs and previews upcoming events like the spring musical.
Starting the Assembly, each elected member of Student Council spoke about their purpose in the administration and the goals they have achieved so far this year. While the Secretary's primary role is to take minutes at Student Council meetings, Yali K, '19, emphasized how important it is for students to share their ideas with student council so that they have a voice in student government at RSS. He encouraged students to talk to him, and he would be happy to share those ideas with the rest of the Council. Jake F. '17, Student Council Treasurer, gave an update on the amount of money that Student Council has raised through events this year, and the tzedakah contributions from each grade. In total, over $400 has been donated to different non-profit organizations, and Jake encouraged students to increase their tzedakah each week during Shabbat. As Press Secretary, Natalie C. '18, reinforced Jake's message highlighting the signage that has been posted around school reminding students about upcoming snack sales and tzedakah collections. She also told students to check the Student Council bulletin board which she will be updating with more information shortly.
Vice President of Student Council, Maya N. '18, announced a new initiative after the success of the student snack sales this fall and winter. She is spearheading an effort to have a breakfast snack sale which she will coordinate with the school Nurse and Chef to make sure that Student Council is providing nutritious and healthy options for breakfast for students. This breakfast sale is a new take on a traditionally successful initiative, but the timing of the sale has yet to be announced.
Finally, President of Student Council, Dan B. '17, shared his thoughts after several months in office. He remarked on the teamwork from Student Council to host a successful Winter Bash before December break and highlighted the recent opportunity that students had to watch the live stream of the Presidential Inauguration, an idea that he had spearheaded. Dan also outlined a few projects that he hopes to complete before the end of the school year, including opening the Yard for organized play during morning break and creating opportunities for advisories to join Student Council meetings, one at a time, to discuss their needs and issues in a structured setting. He closed by thanking the Middle School again for electing him President and encouraged all students to feel free to talk to him about any ideas or concerns.
After the speeches from the elected members of Student Council, Mia P. '18, a reporter for The Mane Event, interviewed members of the girls and boys basketball teams about the current sports season. Arielle B. '17, spoke about the camaraderie that has grown throughout the seasons and Phil L. '17, encouraged aspiring athletes to try out next season. They also reminded students to get excited for the annual Student-Faculty Basketball Game on Friday, February 17th.
While the offerings for Middle School Clubs varies slightly every year, there was a robust turnout from the high-tech clubs with presentations from the Robotics, Minecraft and Coding clubs illustrating the creative work that goes into analytical projects. Club Shoko shared the art they are working on creating mandalas and mosaics that incorporate Jewish and Israeli traditions. The Middle School band played the William Tell Overture, and the Indian Dance Club showed off their moves doing a traditional Southern Indian Dance routine for the Middle School.
The State of the School Assembly is also an opportunity for the Drama Department to highlight their upcoming production. The student body was treated to a sneak peek of the Middle School Spring Musical, The Wizard of Oz, with the full cast performing "Munchkinland" with Natasha R. '17 as Dorothy and Marley K. '17 as Glinda. The Spring Musical will open on Thursday, March 23rd and will be live streamed on the RSS website.
Finally, the Assembly closed with the Langston Hughes poem, "Let America Be America Again" read by Julia K. '17. In March, students will be reading poetry and writing poems for the "March Madness" competition.
The Student Council Faculty Advisor, Noah Carlson, felt that "what [Student Council] has to say was meaningful" and that illustrates how much work the Council has done this year. He also remarked that the clubs demonstrations and performances really "captured the authenticity" of the student's work and dedication. While it will be another year until the next State of the School Assembly, the student body should be confident in their leaders and the vision they have for the rest of the 2016-2017 school year.