With Spring Break just a few days away, we are reaching yet another significant school year milestone. It’s been over one year that we have been managing COVID together and I want you all to know how deeply I appreciate the response this community has shown. Support and flexibility have come in such astounding amounts from families, from kids, from staff - it’s been so impressive.
Twelve months ago, as COVID ramped up, my biggest concern - beyond the physical health of all - was how we as a community would navigate this together. COVID demands on families and on staff promised to be big and while that became our reality, your willingness to experience it all with empathy, care, generosity, and perseverance has gone way beyond what anyone could have hoped for.
There is much to be thankful for, with vaccinations at the top of that list.
However, even as “normal” seems to be foreseeable, the trial of Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis has started up, bringing the chaos, damage, and heartache of the summer of 2020 to the front of all of our minds. The tension building around the trial and the uncertainty it engenders make very real the prospect of another wave of violence and destruction. For some in our community, this represents a return of real and immediate trauma and it is for this reason that I write to you today.
On top of this, extremely unsettling reports of racist violence against Asian Americans have added another layer to the story of 2021 and significant stress to members of that community of color.
Like all of you, I sincerely hope that calm and peace will prevail. I hope that our Twin Cities and our state can show the world that a community can find a peaceful, inclusive, and just path forward.
With this in mind, I appeal to our whole community to bring lenses of empathy, patience, and love to our perceptions and interactions as we go through the coming weeks together. We know that any of our community members can be strongly affected by what happens and I ask that we give particular consideration to the black, indigenous, and people of color in our community, along with those whose homes and livelihoods lie in the areas of our cities most hard hit by last summer’s events. The prospect of a return of such violence and destruction as we saw last summer is a stark possibility that many of us can only imagine.
Our kids need us, even if they can’t say exactly how.
Rest assured, we at school stand with you, ready to do all we can to support our kids and each other.
Recognizing the situation, the Minnesota Department of Education has provided the following resources as a starting point:
Stay healthy, stay safe -