March 12, 2018
Letter from the Principal
On Wednesday we will assemble at 10:00 am on our lower yard to show that, as a school community, we are about treating one another with decency and respect, we are about taking care of one another, we are about fostering a climate of peace and dialog, and when we see something, we say something. These values are the foundation of our work to keep our school safe. Maintaining these tenets will help ensure that all our students are free to learn without the burden of fear, a feeling that impedes learning.
We are not assembling to talk explicitly about gun violence. While that is the topic of the national walkouts, it is a wholly inappropriate topic for our Ivanhoe elementary community assembly because of the age of our students. I respect all families’ rights to share information on this topic in an age appropriate way with their children; however, I feel it is a topic best left for parents to broach outside of school. As adults, we will cover some of these important topics separately at our Parent Ed evening on Thursday.
Our assembly will be an effort to show solidarity with the current national movement, but we will do so within the context of our work with very young students, which is to teach social emotional skills and bully prevention strategies, to model empathy and to learn to appreciate differences on a daily basis. Clearly, if done well, the work we do in our school may prevent the isolation and exclusion that could lead to violence in later years.
I invite parents who would like to join us in our assembly for peace to arrive at school and sign in before 10:00 am. Parents who wish to participate formally in the national walkouts will need to sign children out and provide guidance during their time away from school.