This past school year–in fact the past few–have been filled with some tough times, and parents are often asked really hard questions by some of our littlest learners. With all that’s going on in our world, our nation, and our schools today, it’s hard to know what to say about these very complex topics.
Jamy Haughey is the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Sanford School. She also teaches Upper School math and science courses.
Growing up in a predominantly white community in suburban South Jersey, there were not many people who looked like me, nor were there many ways in which I saw myself reflected either through the curriculum that my teachers used or within the media that I was exposed to. Not seeing myself reflected in my daily life left me with a yearning for belonging; I wanted to be seen, heard, and valued. One of the first times when I meaningfully saw myself was in English class during my junior year when I read The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. Despite not being Chinese American, there were many instances throughout the book where I saw mirrors of my own experience growing up as a first-generation Filipino American, and I was able to relate to the daughters’ search for identity in a world between cultures. It was then that I realized how impactful it was to see my own story and struggles as an Asian American written in pages before me. Seeing myself represented in that story made me feel a sense of belonging in an incredibly significant way. I felt seen.
Every March, we celebrate Women’s History Month. We honor women, their role in history, their accomplishments, and their futures. When Women’s History Month is celebrated in school, educators can emphasize the value of women’s voices and encourage all students to respect and support equality. Women’s History Month is about honoring the past, but it’s also about how we move into the future. How will we raise our girls to understand the value of our own voices? How will we help provide healing and give hope?
There's currently some frustration among educators around the lexicon of COVID. Teachers and school staff have probably grown weary of the descriptions we as school leaders have used as our communities have navigated the pandemic. Words like “flexible,” “nimble,” and “pivot” didn’t carry emotional weight before March 2020.
“I look forward to watching our children grow together and know that I have made lifelong friends, just as my children have. We really have created a sense of community for our family.”
- A Lower School Parent
When parents are involved, students achieve moreDid you know that...
- Schools that work well with families have better teacher morale and higher ratings of teachers by parents.
- School programs that involve parents outperform identical programs without parent and family involvement.
Labor Day weekend is upon us. It has long been described as the Sunday night of summer. It marks the season of change, with fall and a new school year on the horizon.
This time of the year reminds me of the summer grass. Some days dry and tired from the sun, unsure which is best: water or shade, likely both. Rest surely required, but sometimes not found. The reverberating laughter of the summer days well lived is still heard, and while days are reminiscent of the family van clad with the turtle top, there is a new quiet that enters and competes for loudest sound: catalogs with backpacks and sports apparel, new-fangled lunch accessories, latest trends and all the reminders of the outside world with hints of shiny, new schedules and adventures beyond our summer days that lure us to inch near. It is a time that is nostalgic of the sweetest summer lived and already longed for, but a constant pull to stay here and be present while planning what is to come.
While embracing the remaining dog days of summer, it is inevitable that we need to prepare for our new schedules of the school year ahead.As parents, this sometimes is a far too daunting task. While we collect tips and tricks from trial and error like the shells once collected in July on family days by the ocean, we often forget that none of this needs to be done alone. Change is hard and adjusting to new schedules takes time and patience.
Summer is here, so it’s the perfect time to explore the great outdoors. This blog from Harvard Medical School describes six reasons why it's important for kids to spend time outside. If one (or more!) of those reasons resonates with you, then take advantage of one of our activities below that will help you and your child engage with nature.
How do you keep a school community strong in a school year caught between virtual, hybrid, and in-person learning? It starts with school leaders and parents who have a shared vision of success. Your support and participation make a difference. Whether you choose to engage on a personal, informal, or formal level, here are a few opportunities to stay engaged in your school community during the pandemic.
After eighteen or so years, you may be ready to see your senior plan their departure to college and move away, or like many parents, you may be dreading it. Giving yourself time to contemplate this huge life change and to offer some useful tips to your student will make a difference. Here are a few suggestions to help you get ready:
During the past year, school leaders throughout our country have shared countless messages about the COVID-19 pandemic. Information about testing, vaccines, safety protocols, and many other topics has been featured in newsletters, videos, and school communications.
One pandemic-related matter that has not been addressed frequently is the rise of anti-Asian hate, exclusion, and racism that is taking place throughout our country. Since the start of the pandemic, Stop AAPI Hate and Asian Americans Advancing Justice have collectively reported more than 3,000 cases of anti-Asian incidences of violence. In recent weeks, there has been a dramatic rise in anti-Asian attacks and crimes in California and New York. Many of these were unprovoked violent assaults. Not surprisingly, many Asians in our community are experiencing trauma, fear, and despair.
As a school leader, I am committed to using my platform to denounce hate, violence, and racism no matter where it occurs—and I condemn those who participate in these acts. My hope is that all school leaders raise their voices and support members of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities locally and across our nation. Likewise, every individual has an opportunity and responsibility to do their part in the fight against bigotry, hate, and violence.