Your Weekly Update from Memorial Elementary School
Dear Memorial Families and Caregivers:
As the principal of Memorial Elementary, and a new principal to Natick Public Schools, I must confess to you that I still haven't figured it out. We are always changing and adjusting our curriculum, we are always seeking to have our students and their families represented throughout our content, and we are not satisfied with easy answers.
I will not be satisfied if we celebrated Black history like it only belonged in one month or with a few posters or events - I won't be satisfied until Black history is incorporated as American history through every class - but, as an article I read recently suggests, we are a long way away from that reality.
I remember being in a professional development not too long ago and asked - How can we make sure we celebrate Black history in our content and throughout the year in thoughtful, authentic, and empowering way in all our classes?
Our school values inform and direct us to be an adult culture of thinking and humble reflection. We want to make sure we hear and center all voices, especially Black, Indigenous and People of Color voices or BIPOC voices. As a faculty that specifically lacks Black representation - we are committed to being learners, to opening conversations, and to listening. Our classrooms must be places where students are asked deep and important questions and where all voices are represented, where all histories are represented - our classrooms must be places of inclusivity, informed by our country's history.
This is what we do know - Black history is American history and we must intentionally and constantly incorporate and find authentic ways to celebrate the joys, struggles, and histories of Black America throughout the year.
We cannot say that we've figured it out - but we can say we are dedicated to being learners, to humbly reflect how we incorporate Black history into curriculum and content, and to learn how to amplify and center voices that have been historically un-amplified and un-centered.
We want to make sure we are creating learning that students can see themselves and their families represented in. We want curriculum where students are involved in thoughtful, authentic questions and where they are empowered to be thinkers who can approach their world with curiosity and thoughtfulness so they can learn and live.
The Profile of a Natick Graduate guides and directs us to look outside of ourselves and our perspectives. Our teachers love their content - and more than that they love the chance to create opportunities for students to think well with their content. For us, February's Black History Month is one more chance for this opportunity.
If you'd like to look at any of the articles from my professional development, there are a few helpful and thoughtful reads you want to check out. Both are from Teaching Tolerance Magazine. One is called Why We Need Black History Month and another called The Do's and Don'ts of Teaching Black History Month.
We are honored to be Natick educators dedicated to ongoing learning and celebrate February's Black History Month. This year, we vow to be present, intellectually humble learners. I know that next year at this time we will know so much more. While I wish I knew that future knowledge today so I could approach my community with greater understanding, I remain humbled, hopeful, and grateful for ongoing growth.
POINT OF PRIDE
Things You Need to Know
1. February 8th is a shortened/early release day: All students will be dismissed at 12:40pm
2. It’s that time of year again, one of our favorite events held in PE!! We are getting ready to kick off the Kids Heart Challenge adventure with the American Heart Association!! Over the next few weeks students will be learning about their heart, learning new jump roping skills, raising awareness and funds for the American Heart Association. Last year our school raised over $38,205.00!!! Together we can continue to help support and raise money to help the American Heart Association. Yeah!
Please see above for the attached information
Tuesday, February 7 at 7pm via Zoom -- For parents, caregivers, educators, and community members
Behind every child who is differently wired is likely one or more frustrated, isolated, perhaps even burnt out adult. In this practical and actionable talk, author and parenting activist Debbie Reber, MA, shares ten powerful “tilts,” a.k.a. practical ideas to help parents shift their thinking and give their extraordinary children what they need to thrive.ASL interpretation will be provided at this event. Register and learn more about this FREE online program and all our upcoming events at www.SPARKKindness.org
4. Happy 100th Day of School on February 7, 2023. Our scholars have been working very intentionally throughout the school year.
5. Please enjoy my weekend vibe:
The Memorial PTO is a parent and teacher run, non-profit organization committed to enhancing and enriching the education of our students and fostering a sense of community within our school. The PTO provides assistance to teachers within the classroom settings, raises funds for educational materials and experiences, advocates school and family social interaction, and provides an unbiased forum for sharing information on issues that impact our students. We believe in cultivating a positive learning environment to allow for students to achieve their highest potential. Please become an active participant in the PTO. Below is the link to their website:
or email them at:
- Title I: Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990Title II
- Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990Title VI
- Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964Title IX
- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
- MGL, Ch.76, Section 5: Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 76, Section 5