Town Hall Technology

Every month, students and staff at Islip’s Commack Road Elementary School gather to celebrate the current month’s character education trait at a schoolwide “Town Hall” meeting. The purpose of the meetings is to build school unity and respect and encourage a sense of community.

Teachers volunteer their time to organize the monthly meetings with the assistance of selected students. For the January Town Hall meeting on honesty, art teacher Bethany Majestic created a video that featured student skits, singing, dancing and a news broadcast, as well as highlighted library books that have honesty as their core theme. Ms. Majestic filmed the presentations with an iPhone and edited the film using iMovie, while students were responsible for all other aspects of the 30-minute movie, including writing the scripts, choosing the songs and casting the parts.

“I wanted to incorporate technology in the arts and introduce the students to a new career that falls under the umbrella of the arts,” explained Ms. Majestic in regard to the Town Hall meetings. Added Principal Jeanette Feminella, “The video presentation was an honest and genuine child production – it’s how the students read, how they dance and how they sing. It had all the components of a typical Town Hall meeting, while being interactive and fun.”