January 4, 2019
Happy New Year EMS Families!
In reflecting on our year to date, the rest of the year and how we will continue to achieve the goals we established at the beginning of our school year I feel compelled to share a very difficult situation that occurred in our community before break that affirms why we chose one of our school wide goals this year to focus on students feeling safe, heard, seen, understood and respected.
In December, several racially and culturally hateful letters were written and delivered from one EMS student to another. One letter specifically referenced the power one child perceives she has based on her race. This clearly reflects a racist mindset that we need to address as a larger community.
In reading this, it could be easy to think that this is a stand-alone incident; however, I want to challenge all of us to recognize that this is reality indicative of the larger challenge we face as a city, state, country and world.
In collaboration with the Director of Inclusivity and Safe Schools, we have worked with all students and families involved and will continue to address this situation and the necessary repair using a Restorative approach.
Personally, I have gone back and forth between feeling overwhelmed and saddened to angered and shocked. At times, these emotions have left me feeling helpless and lost as to how to rectify such a blatant disregard for compassion and empathy.
After much reflection, I chose to acknowledge and name this event, recognizing that silence will only perpetuate this reality.
I am reminded that our response and reaction to such matters is the only thing we can control and choose. I ask for your partnership in this endeavor as we learn to cultivate compassion and make our school a safer and more open minded community.
This year we have begun to educate ourselves with the support of a consultant, ongoing professional development, and open and honest dialogue around race and racism. We will continue with increased opportunities for student voice to be heard and stories shared.
Please consider coming to our next PTO meeting to continue this conversation and consider our actions as a community.
With gratitude and in partnership,
01/10 - 6:30-8:00 p.m. Sixth Grade Winter Concert - Chorus, Band and Orchestra in the Gym
01/16 - 5:00-6:30 p.m. EMS PTO meeting in the Maker Space/Library
01/21 - 12 noon dismissal for all
Construction update: We are scheduled to be in and using our new cafeteria after February break! It's very exciting that our building renovations are starting to take form, and as is the reality with any major renovation taking place during the school year, there has been a certain amount of disruption including noise and strange smells. We want to assure you that throughout this process we have been working very closely with our contractors and their safety officers as well as our own air quality consultants to monitor the condition throughout the building to ensure the safety of all our students and other building occupants throughout this process. We will continue to do so until the project completion.
Students participating in the Friday ski bus should arrive at school in time to store their ski gear in the basement room near Design Tech.
Quarter 2 ends on January 18th - see here for directions to log into powerschool and see grades to date.
“Tie One On” For Safety, December 2018
Here are some 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Statistics (YRBS) to share that reflect our Youth in the Burlington Community: 14% of 9th Grade BHS students reported riding with a drinking driver within the past 30 days of taking this survey, up 2% from 2015. 9% of 9th Grade BHS students reported riding with a driver who had been smoking marijuana within the past 30 days of taking this survey, down 2% from 2015. 7% of 9th Grade BHS students reported driving when drinking within the past 30 days of taking this survey. 7% of 9th Grade BHS students drove when smoking marijuana within the past 30 days of taking this survey. To find out more detailed statistics reflecting our Burlington Youth please check out the Vermont Department of Health Youth Risk Behavior Survey Website for Burlington, Vermont schools: http://www.healthvermont.gov/health-statistics-vital-records/population-health-surveys-data/youth-risk-behavior-survey-yrbs