Sheri’s Weekly Letter 2/16/18

Dear Parents,

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.

Best,

Sheri
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