Demanding Justice, Seeking Healing
I know we have gathered and spoken a lot about the killing of George Floyd, the racism and biases we need to address, and how our Jewish values and our school’s values must guide us to push, relentlessly for justice. I am so proud of the many conversations our students have had with you, the parents, and our staff, and I was genuinely surprised and pleased to receive the challenge from students to approach this matter on a longer-term basis.
During many of our class-wide conversations early this week, it was so striking how many of you are directly affected by the killing, the riots, and the pain that the black community is feeling right now, and has for a long time. One concrete idea that many parents brought up was making a long-term connection with a school in the metro area with more students of color. This is one of a number of steps we can start to take and we will explore over the coming weeks and months.
The students challenged me to create opportunities to ask more questions and discuss difficult topics around bias and race, privilege and justice, and I am going to host an elective in late June to get the conversation started.
Thank you all for your caring, your courageousness, and your thoughtfulness over the past couple of weeks.
Important Upcoming Dates
June 22: The week of June 22 is our target date for coordinating pickup of your child’s belongings from school, and return of students’ textbooks, library books, and musical instruments.
July 1: By this date we will provide our first major update on school planning for next year. The goal will be to provide a clear timeline on that date for when we will roll out the structure for classes and school, as a whole, next year. We will also update you on:
- Our approach to student services in the coming year; specifically, how we are planning to address students’ individual plans and support next year
- Current CDC and MN Department of Health requirements and recommendations related to schools
- Up-to-date information on plans to refresh Heilicher@Home and what the likely scenarios are for opening in the fall (i.e. alternating days, full reopening, half-days, or any combination of these)
Progress On Re-Opening In The Fall
While winding down the school year, a process which will extend through next week for teachers, a substantial group of teachers and administrators have made more significant steps toward planning for Heilicher’s return in the fall. All teams, Familiarization, Integration, and Heilicher@Home (please view previous posts for detail on each of these groups) are up and running and have started working on summer meeting times and deadlines. We are actively collecting and organizing data from across the country and internationally on the best thinking and practices for reopening, and what the technical needs and requirements will be to do so.
Important updates will come your way on or by July 1.
Graduation planning is continuing. A huge thank you to Steve Mintz, Davida Cytron, Diane Greenberger, Ryan Bradley, and Maia Poling for working on this milestone event, especially in the face of busy schedules.
Summer Programming Update
Heilicher will be coordinating some elective offerings which will be made available to families, online, during the weeks of June 22 and June 29. Please keep an eye out for additional information, and an opportunity to sign up, within the next few weeks.
Thank you, as always, for your support, patience, and care.