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    Family Update: January 29, 2021
    Posted on 02/03/2021
    This is the image for the news article titled Family Update: January 29, 2021Greetings MES Family Members!

    I hope this finds you all well. Last week, we had our first kindergarten tour. It feels surreal to be five months into this remote school year and making plans for next year. Last February, we were able to invite our incoming Kindergarten families into our beautiful building and let them experience for themselves what our classroom communities looked, sounded and felt like. This year, not being able to do that, we have created a virtual tour powerpoint. We have posted this document – which tells the story of our school journey thus far – on our school website. I encourage all of you to take some time to watch it, especially if you are missing our in-person school experience as much as I am. Watching it makes me feel proud of the connected community we have created, in person last year and remotely this year, and hopeful for the future time that we can safely be together in person again.

    The tour presentation shares with viewers the MES mission, vision and learning approach that grounds all of the work we do with our students. Recently, our staff spent time revising our MES Agreements to better reflect our mission and vision (in kid language). Our 5th graders shared the updated agreements at our MLK assembly and I am attaching them to this message to share with you. To help make these agreements come to life, our staff is engaging in an Anti-Bias Educators’ Workshop taught by Britt Hawthorne. I want to share a quote from Britt with you all: “Anti-bias educators recognize that young children are noticing human differences. They are trying to figure out who they are by knowing who they are not. They’re drawing conclusions, whether accurate or inaccurate, and they are looking for adults in their life to help them figure it out.” As a staff, we are committed to being adults in our students’ lives that help them think about human differences in a healthy way. We are excited about how well the anti-bias framework aligns with our positive discipline philosophy and look forward to learning more about how to incorporate it into all areas of our MES community.

    As a staff, we are deeply committed to making MES an anti-bias and anti-racist school. We will recognize February as National Black History Month and the week of February 1 – 5 as Black Lives Matter in Schools week. At each grade level, our classroom teachers are working collaboratively as a team to plan the books and activities they will use to engage their students in this learning. Your classroom teacher will be sharing this information directly with you. They will also be offering you resources that you can access to support this learning at home. I encourage you all to talk with your student about this important learning and join us in helping them think about racial differences in a healthy way.

    I am excited to announce that, thanks to our Creative Advantage Arts Grant, our students will have the opportunity to work with STYLE (Songwriting Through Youth Literature Education) again this year! This week, our 4th and 5th graders started working on a collaborative project based on the book “When Stars Are Scattered” which is also one of the titles in this year’s Global Reading Challenge. Each class will have 5 sessions with STYLE’s team of artist to produce an original song and video. I look forward to sharing and celebrating these finished products at our March assembly. Our younger students will have an opportunity to work with STYLE later in the year.

    I want to thank all of you who attended Julietta Skoog’s first Positive Discipline session. Her second session, focusing on emotional regulation and brain development, will be held on Tuesday, February 9th. Before Julietta’s presentation, we will be welcoming two district leaders who I admire greatly, Dr. Keisha Scarlett (former Chief of Equity, Partnerships & Engagement and now Chief Academic Officer) and Dr. Mia Williams (Chief of African American Male Achievement). They have asked for 15-20 minutes to share this year’s strategic plan goals and answer any questions our MES families might have about the district’s
    strategic work during this remote learning and beyond. I encourage you all to register for this event on our PTA website.

    Thank you for your ongoing support!
    With gratitude and appreciation,
    Katie