We enjoyed another busy week of school and are happy that we made it through the week without the predicted rain! Thanks to the parents who were able to join us last night for information meetings regarding the upcoming 6th and 7th grade overnight field trips. For those unable to attend, we will email trip details before each trip and extra forms have been made available in the office. Any students not attending the overnight trips will be expected to attend school as these are regular school days.
On Wednesday, March 14th we will hold our lottery on campus at 4:00pm. We have around 700 students hoping for 120 spots in our 2018-19 lottery. Although we have shared that attendance is not mandatory to secure a spot, we expect it to be a busy afternoon at The City School. Please be aware of this if you are picking up students or trying to park on Wednesday afternoon.
In other news, I wanted to inform you that our faculty and students will be participating in the National School Walkout on Wednesday, March 14th at 10:00am to honor those killed in the February 14th massacre at the Parkland High School. Ms. Woods’ Advisory organized this walkout by sharing the purpose and logistics of the walkout with all Advisories. Having all the information, students will be able to make a choice as to whether or not they want to participate. Students who choose not to will stay behind with some teachers.
As a constructivist based school that values and promotes student proactivity, we support our students in voicing their thoughts and opinions in a respectful and peaceful manner. We want them to know that they can make a positive difference in their own lives and the lives of others. Parents interested in joining us for the walkout can be at school around 9:50am to get ready to walk with us at 10:am-10:17am.
I would like to once again remind parents to remain involved in your children’s phone use and online activities. I have been recently informed of several incidents of inappropriate internet use, including students creating fake accounts in The City School’s name and posting hurtful comments on Snapchat, in texts, and other online forums. While these activities occur outside of school, they have a tremendous impact on our students in the school environment. I realize that this is a topic I have addressed in weekly emails several times; however I will continue to revisit, as it seems that many of our parents are unaware of what their children are doing and/or saying online and via text.
Lastly, please remember to TURN YOUR CLOCKS AHEAD ONE HOUR this weekend (March 11th) for Daylights Savings Time.
The students enjoyed a short week this week, while teachers spent Thursday and Friday together in Professional Development. Our faculty enjoyed a fun and productive two days of learning, planning, and enjoying one another. We are geared up and excited for the remaining months of our 2017-18 school year. Please note that there is no school on Monday, February 19th in observance of President’s Day.
On another note, I am, and know that many of you are, incredibly saddened by the news of yet another school shooting in Parkland, Florida this week. Indeed there are no words to explain this tragedy and the countless number of similar tragedies that have occurred in recent years. As educators and parents, our number one priority is ensuring that our children are safe at all times. While we have security drills and safety procedures in place at The City School, it is clear that this Florida high school and the many other schools where this has occurred, also had security procedures in place. It is unsettling to all of us that regardless of the measures we take to protect our children, we send them to school each day with the possibility that they may not be safe.
While important conversations are rampant right now regarding gun control, mental illness, metal detectors at school, etc., I cannot help but wonder about the type of prevention and intervention we are implementing in our schools that may help us not only to “red flag” struggling kids, but to provide them with help. I wonder whether some of these perpetrators may have benefited from being and feeling known, seen, heard, and valued in their school communities. I wonder whether it may have made a difference if they had just one adult–maybe an Advisor–in their schools that they felt they could talk to. What if they had been taught–in a school like City–to handle their sadness, anger and frustration in a different, more productive manner? I wonder if anyone at school ever let them know that their lives and the lives of others, DO matter.
As a school leader, I do not know the answers to these questions, as nobody can really know what drives certain people to commit horrendous acts. What I do know, however, is that while we are not responsible for the actions of other people, we, as educators and as school communities, can make a difference in the lives of students when we embrace every one of them – socially, emotionally, and cognitively. There is much work to be done in our schools and in the world. We will continue at The City School to explore and revamp our safety and security procedures while never losing sight of our main goal of embracing all of our students.
I wish you a peaceful three-day weekend and hope that you will take the time to hug, love, and appreciate your wonderful children.