Letter from the MC Principal

Hello MC families,

On Monday during Morning Meeting our Brain Smart Start was led by the SanDay Advisory (Advisors: Ms. Santina and Mx. Monday). Their group highlighted the fact that Monday, January 30th was the School Day of Non-violence and Peace. This day is observed in schools worldwide to encourage children to find non-violent means to resolve conflicts. This is right in line with our Guiding Principle that states that, “We Resolve Conflicts in a peaceful, thoughtful, and meaningful way.”

As a reminder, a Brain Smart Start has four parts: we “Unite” (gathering the scattered energy of a room together), “Connect” (engaging with each other in a meaningful and sometimes playful way), “Disengage Stress” (deep breaths or laughter), and a “Commitment” (dialing in and setting an intention once our brains are ready for learning). We “United” by watching a video about peaceful protest with a voiceover by Dr. Martin Luther King. To “Connect” students were asked to stand up based on whether various statements applied to them: “if you have ever participated in a peaceful protest, rally or march,” “if your family has volunteered or donated to an organization that supports nonviolence,” and “if you have ever stood up for someone that was experiencing bullying.” We “Disengaged Stress” with three deep breaths. And our weekly commitment, which is always tied to an IB Learner Profile Attribute (LPA) was, “I commit to be an INQUIRER (the LPA) by considering how working on my LEARNING GOAL is improving my learning so far.” This commitment was also related to the learning goals that students created in the fall during their student led conferences.

After the Brain Smart Start we had a moment of silent reflection in remembrance of Tyre Nichols. Tyre Nichols was a 29 year-old young man who was beaten by five police officers during a traffic stop in Memphis, TN on January 7th, and he died on January 10th. In discussing this issue I linked it to that morning’s Brain Smart Start, the importance of peaceful protest, and Dr. King’s quote that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

While we do work around diversity, equity, and inclusion in Advisory and in our classrooms, we also do this work with adults. Our Diversity and Equity Co-Coordinators Dr. Cassie Leymarie and Ms. Humaira Afzal led a listening circle after school on Monday in which a group of teachers explored the connection between restorative circles and diversity, equity, and inclusion work.

Finally, with today being the first day of Black History Month I wanted to touch base with you about our Black History Month Celebration and Teach-In. In addition to the work that we do throughout the year, and the spotlights that we put on Black History in February, each year we also take a full school day in February that we devote to Black History. This concept is the continuation of an idea brought about by Ms. Alina Hinton and former ANCS MC Performing Arts teacher Mr. Aaron. Each year we have an hour long Morning Meeting that includes speeches and performances from students and teachers – this is the Celebration portion of the day. The rest of the day, the Teach-In, consists of sessions led by students, teachers, and outside speakers about Black History and Culture. It’s always one of the best days of the year. The Teach-In will be taking place on Wednesday, February 15th. I will share more details about the day on my Courier that day.

As always, if you have any questions please feel free to reach out.

Kind regards,