Chapel Break-Out Groups Show the Value of Community

Upper School Students Enjoy Shared Interests During Fall Chapel Breakout Sessions

Sophomore+Grace+Palmer+works+on+a+piece+of+artwork+during+Upper+School+English+Teacher+Mrs.+Pam+Merryman%27s+chapel+break-out+session.+

Sophomore Grace Palmer works on a piece of artwork during Upper School English Teacher Mrs. Pam Merryman’s chapel break-out session.

On October 8, 2020, the Upper School kicked off the fall season with chapel breakout sessions. Students signed up for Chapel breakout sessions according to their interests; whether it be making balloon animals or discussing the Rapture. The breakout sessions were hosted by teachers and faculty.

Director of Campus Ministries Mrs. Lainie Montgomery, along with Student Discipleship and Activities Associate Mr. Gabe Boyd, implemented these breakout sessions a year ago.

Mrs. Montgomery said, “The breakout sessions happen once in the Fall and Spring in place of our normal Chapel and are designed to give students the option to learn more about a topic that interests them.” With all the changes due to Covid-19, Mrs. Montgomery said, “Now more than ever, I cannot think of a better reason to be able to break into small groups. Students can meet new people while having fun.”

Sophomore Nick Thomas said, “The session I chose was ‘Game On’ because I had a lot of fun doing it last year with my friends, so I wanted to do it again this year.” Breakout sessions give students the ability to decompress and do something they love with their friends.

A popular aspect of these breakout sessions is how they are formatted. Mrs. Montgomery said, “Breakout Sessions are not meant to be a class lecture or a sermon. They are meant to be a 55-minute time of learning, having fun, and building community.” Praising this set-up, Nick said, “I like having a break from the normal school day to play games and have fun with friends.”

Upper School Spanish Teacher Mr. Miguel Sifuentes, who helped lead the Balloon Animals Breakout Session said, “What I like most about the breakout sessions is that it gives us teachers an opportunity to pause from our daily duties of teaching, grading, meetings, etc., so that we can just kick it with the students.” Thinking back on his time during the Balloon Animal Session, he said, “I think some of us teachers enjoy it more than the students.”

Chapel Breakout Sessions are an enjoyable additive for both students and faculty. Taking a break from the seemingly monotonous school days, being able to decompress and do something fun with friends is very much appreciated by the students in Upper School.