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Lower Merion School District

Off-Canvas

Merion Builds Belonging Through "School Family" Program

One of the many great ways Merion Elementary School fosters a sense of community and belonging is through their School Family initiative. Each of Merion’s “school families” is led by a faculty/staff member and is comprised of students across all grade levels (K-4). Having school family members from kindergarten through fourth grade - the little kids and the big kids - helps to build and strengthen connections not just with those in their own class or grade, but throughout the entire building. Families meet periodically during the school year to spend time together and engage in learning opportunities and discussions aimed at character development and intellectual growth.

During one of Merion’s recent family meetings, students and staff talked about empathy, which can sometimes be a tricky trait for young children to fully grasp, as it challenges individuals to try to see and feel things from a perspective other than their own. The discussion covered a range of related topics, including ways students could effectively inquire, listen and act in an empathetic manner. Students then engaged in an interdisciplinary art project taking what they just learned to create Empathy Elephants, which were then displayed throughout the building to illustrate the different ways the Mustangs could show empathy for classmates and all members of the school community.

Empathy is also the character trait Merion is focusing on in their Positive Behavior Intervention and Support program (PBIS). Don't forget to check the slideshow of images below! #LMSDBuildingBelonging

Principal Albanese and his school family working on a project
A School Family has a meeting on the carpet
A School Family has a meeting in the library
Empathy Elephants cover a door
A school family has a meeting in the library
Empathy Elephants displayed on a classroom door

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