Before the Assembly: Establishing Expectations

This is the sixth article in an 9-part series with tips on planning, producing, and paying for your school assembly program. The complete School Assembly Handbook will be available online at my website for educational school assemblies.


Establish your good behavior expectations in advance.  When teachers, administrators, and you set the expectation of excellent assembly behavior, students rise to the occasion.  When the principal, PTA leader, or teacher takes control of the room from the moment that students begin filing in, presenters smile because they know that you understand the importance of expecting good behavior.  It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

Students should also know that if they are disruptive during the program that they will be removed.  This is the teacher’s responsibility and not the presenter’s job. 

Prepare the students.  This isn’t your responsibility as a PTA leader, but is included here for completeness.  It’s important for young students (kindergarten and first grade) and before the first school assembly of the year when kids may not be familiar with the behavior expectations. 

Students should keep their hands to themselves, focus on the speaker or presenter, and be quiet unless called upon.  Sit cross-legged so that their friends and class-mates behind them can see. 

Explain the difference between polite applause to show appreciation and enjoyment as opposed to chanting, whistling, or foot stomping (bleachers only).  Mention that some students will be invited to take part in the program.  Students who are seated quietly with their hand raised will have the best chance of being chosen.

Promote the special event.  Some presenters will mail posters or fliers for you to post.  Put them on doors and bulletin boards to let students know about the program in advance. 

“The pre-made fliers were wonderful!  They made my job advertising so simple.  I really liked the personal touches that were added by naming our PTA and Family Enrichment.”
     -Melissa Santiago, Cedar Valley Elementary P. T. A.


Get the word out.

  • Publish info about your assembly on the school’s website. 
  • Include it on printed and online calendars.
  • Post fliers or posters where students (and parents) will see them.
  • Include information in the school newsletter. 
  • Publicize the assembly on your outdoor reader board. 
  • Get everyone pumped up about the special program!


Your comments and feedback are welcome. 


  • What do YOU do before your assembly that is helpful in setting the right tone for the program? 
  • How do you promote Family Nights and special events? 
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