In any contest, whether on the sports field or through an electoral process, there are those that celebrate and those that inevitably find disappointment. Such will be the case in the election today.
But as 4th Grade Teacher, Patrice Samuels, so elegantly put it in a newsletter to parents, “No matter what happens outside the walls of our school, our classrooms will remain the strong, warm, inclusive, and empowered communities they always have been. Ours are classrooms where kindness wins, where mutual respect is the norm, where everyone is accepted for who they are, and where everyone can feel safe. Along with the work that we do to help our students process the election and its aftermath, we will also be reinforcing that message to our students and to each other in the days to come. No matter who wins, no matter how we feel about the outcome, the values we as a school community and as classroom communities hold dear will not change.”
Just one example of the many ways we prepare students to participate in our diverse democracy was illustrated recently in 2nd Grade. Students have been learning about the roles of the president, local leaders, and citizens and engaging in discussions about communities, the rights and responsibilities of citizens, and the voting process. On Monday, students were asked to fill out a mock "Voter Form." When filled out correctly, they received their “Voter ID” card. Today, they exercised their right to vote for a ballot initiative entitled, "What is the most important core value a president should have?" They stood in a socially distant line to vote at the “polling site” (see photos in the galleries to the right). As we wrestle with a range of feelings associated with the election and prepare to enter a New Year, may we all ask ourselves the same question posed to our 2nd graders.
The Core Values of our school remain our bedrock. They are truly non-negotiable. We will continue to support students in the practice of these values, to help them identify when equity and justice, as well as respect, kindness, and integrity, are not lived-out in the broader world.
Please consider some of these helpful resources as you navigate discussions about the election process and results with your children:
Through thoughtful discussions, we can continue to inspire students to affect positive change in their communities. As always, we will prepare them for a more just world by guiding them to listen and dialogue with each other and to discover, in age-appropriate ways, what it means to be articulate, responsible citizens of this world.
Head of School