What's Happening

Friday, May 26th, 2017


This coming Tuesday, May 30th, the Parent Survey will go out to all LMES families. This survey will ask for your feedback on specific questions about communication, safety, student learning, and other, school-related issues. At LMES, we have spent the past year working on the topic of sensitivity found in question #14: My child's school is sensitive to issues regarding race, gender...and disabilities. This edition of What's Happening is all about the work we do at LMES towards this goal of increasing sensitivity.


Exactly what does it mean to be “sensitive” to something? Look up the word in the dictionary, and you will find out that sensitive is an adjective meaning "quick to detect or respond to slight changes, signals, or influences."

At LMES, we look at sensitivity through the lens of Diversity of Learners, Acceptance of Things That Are Different, and Understanding Others By Understanding Ourselves. We look at students' differences as advantages, and we look at each other in many different ways. Students can be alike or different in their:

  • Learning Styles

  • Upbringing

  • Cognitive Functioning

  • Culture

  • Expressive and Receptive Language

  • Academic Abilities

  • Family Makeup

  • Social Abilities

  • Likes and Dislikes

  • Executive Functioning

  • Emotional Skills

  • Visual/Motor Functioning

  • ...and many more!

As teachers, we look at every student through these perspectives, and we ask our students to look at their world and each other in many different ways, often by them asking key questions:

  • What do you have in common?
  • What can you learn from each other?
  • How can you use something that you are good at to help someone else to do better? How can someone help you by using what they are good at?
  • Even when things look different, in what ways are they alike?

LMES School Mission/Vision Statement and Guiding Beliefs

The topic of sensitivity, or acceptance, is at the heart of our LMES Mission/Vision Statement:

The LMES community is dedicated to providing authentic and engaging instruction and experiences for all learners which are differentiated based upon student learning styles and abilities. Providing opportunities for students to become independent and reflective learners who assess their strengths and weaknesses and actively plan their educational goals is an integral part of our program. Children work in an environment which strongly encourages personal best in all endeavors. All students have access to learning and are given opportunities to perform at their strength.

How Are We Sensitive to Issues Regarding Race, Gender...and Disabilities?

At LMES, we work both proactively and responsively in including everyone and by recognizing the fact that we are not all alike, and that is exactly what makes us better! We work proactively to foster community, collaboration, and effective communication through the following activities that occur at all grade levels:

Proactive: Laying the Groundwork

  • Morning Meetings

  • Learning Through Various Learning Methods (Visually, Through Movement, By Speaking, Building Models)

  • Guidance Lessons

  • Personalized Lessons around Specific Learning Needs Within Each Classroom

  • Differentiation in Instruction around Learning Needs

  • Social Groups

  • Leopard’s Pride Assemblies

When students act inappropriately, we work to address the situation in the same manner that we would with everything else in school - as an opportunity to learn and for growth.

Responsive: Meeting Inappropriate Acts with Dignity, Repair Ties to Community

  • Classroom Meeting

  • Logical Consequences

  • Responsive Classroom Model of Consistent, Fair Consequences

Choosing to Be Sensitive When Others Act in Harmful Ways

One of the ways we are sensitive to others is by choosing to respond rather than react when someone does something that we do not like. This bulletin board, created by a second-grade class, shows some of the many ways that our students are sensitive to others.
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Walk A Mile In Another Person's Shoes

One way that we proactively teach sensitivity is through the Shoe Lesson. In this guidance lesson, students are asked to take a close look at a pair of shoes and then they work together to try and imagine all the personal details about that person: whether they are male or female, young or old, what they do for a living, etc. Finally, they are given a photo of the actual owner of the shoes and all the details about that person. The results are always surprising, and make an excellent lesson on being sensitive towards others - you never really know about them until you have "walked a mile in their shoes."
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Teaching Sensitivity Through Literature

At LMES, we have A LOT of books, and we read books for a specific purpose every day, whether it is to practice decoding, work on fluency, build comprehension or all three! We also read books to learn about sensitivity. Here are some of the texts that LMES students enjoy reading that promote sensitivity.