March 15, 2019
Dear EMS Families,
During our last PTO meeting, families shared the desire for more resources and ideas that they could use with their children to continue, or in some cases begin, the conversation around racism and racial tension. Please find below resources shared by some of our faculty and other families.
Track series by Jason Reynolds. A powerful series of books recommended by a 7th grade mother. For her and her son this series was a springboard for many different conversations. (Jason Reynolds has written several powerful books about race.)
Seeing White. A PodCast recommended by an 8th grade student and parents as a resource for considering Whiteness.
Additionally, our librarian, Carole Renca wanted to share Tips for discussing controversial issues, Resources for tackling unhealthy relationships, Podcast - Lifeline - books that Bridge the Divide and the suggested read The Benefits of Being an Octopus. While there is no explicit reference to racism, the text surfaces many themes that provide important fodder for a variety of discussions.
There are many conversations happening in many EMS classes as well - some in circles and others through concrete curriculum.
The sixth grade has partnered with UVM to develop a social justice education curriculum. We are starting by building vocabulary and teaching students about the difference between unjust and unfair. We are moving into talking about many of the -isms and how privilege and power affect the community in which we live, our country and our world.
Next Wednesday we will continue the conversation around what we can do to promote these discussions and actions among ourselves and our children in order to ensure that everyone in our community feels connected to our school community - safe, respected, seen, heard, and valued.
3/19 - AOE Field Review at EMS - full day visit
3/20 - 5-6:30 p.m. PTO meeting EMS Makerspace/Library
3/21 - 6th grade field trip to Smugglers' Notch
3/22 - 5:30-7:30 p.m. Beyond Black History Month at BHS
3/28 - ½ day for students - 12 noon dismissal
3/28 - 3/29 - Parent/Teacher Conferences - see below for details
The new cafeteria at Edmunds is open and being fully enjoyed by all!
The EMS faculty has been working with consultant Joelle van Lent throughout the 2018-2019 school year. Joelle’s work is focused on supporting us in considering how we can more effectively create a community that is Trauma Informed and fosters resilience. Joelle is consulting with teachers and thus is in and out of classes observing. She is also providing ongoing professional development for the faculty.
Scheduling Spring Conferences
Our school is using PTCFast.com to make signups as convenient as possible for our March 28th and 29th conferences. You may be familiar with this platform from your child’s elementary school.
Please copy and paste the following web address into your browser window:
Then you can follow these steps to successfully schedule a meeting with your child’s teachers:
For these March conferences, 7th/8th grade teams have decided to have conferences by invitation only; that being said, you can still log in and schedule meetings with exploratory teachers.
If you do not have internet access or have any questions, please call the guidance office at 864-8486 x41003 to schedule a conference time.
BSD to Host 2nd Annual Beyond Black History Month Community Event
“Black History does not end when March begins”
Burlington, VT- Continuing the spirit of inclusive curriculum, and recognizing that Black History does not end when March begins, Burlington School District (BSD) is proud to announce the 2nd Annual Beyond Black History Month will take place on March 22nd from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at Burlington High School.
Presented by the District Equity and Access Leadership Team (DEALT), the event will feature exhibitions and presentations from students from around the district reflecting on Black History Month and what they been studying throughout the year. Attendees can expect an engaging and inclusive evening of conversation, education, and community building.
“This comprehensive, District-wide event once again aims to continue – not conclude – our community’s momentum in expanding dialogues and shifting the perspectives around true equity and inclusion in our curriculum and our schools,” said Superintendent Obeng. Obeng noted that nearly 200 people attended the celebration last year.
Guests will have an opportunity to engage in breakout sessions about race, hear from students who have been working on civil rights and diversity-centered assignments, and see performances by the BHS dance team as well as IAA and C.P. Smith’s choirs. In addition, IAA Morning Drummers will perform alongside the Jeh Kulu Dance and Drum Theater.
A variety of community partners like Burlington CEDO, Parents and Youth for Change, and others will also be on hand displaying information and resources and engaging in these important conversations. Childcare and dinner will be provided!
For more information visit www.bsdvt.org. To sign up for childcare, call (802) 864-8474.