Letter from the MC Principal

Hello MC families,

This past Tuesday we had our Black History Month Celebration and Teach-In and it was another wonderful event. The Celebration portion of the day is our hour-long Morning Meeting which included student and guest performances including an African drum troupe, poetry, dancing, and Black History trivia. The Sisterhood (our affinity group for Black girls) led the Brain Smart Start (BSS). For the disengage stress portion of the BSS they led students in “Misty C ballerina breathing” (they stepped into a ballerina pose as they did their three deep breaths) in honor of Misty Copeland the first African-American female Principal Dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. Students watched a video to learn about Misty Coleman as part of the BSS. During Morning Meeting, students were also asked some Black History Month trivia including (answers below):

  • What was the first college in the United States to award African Americans graduate degrees?
  • What year did the Atlanta Laundry Workers’ Strike begin?
  • What is the oldest African American church in Atlanta?
  • Where was Maynard Jackson born?

During the Teach-In portion of the day, students rotated through various different classes and cultural experiences led by students and teachers:

  • Eighth grade students wrote poetry about prominent African-American historical figures in Ms. Goodwin and Ms. Paris’s “Sweet Auburn Poetry Cafe” open mic night session, 
  • 6th graders learned about Black history facts as part of their Escape Room experience led by Ms. Lee and Mr. Dewey,
  • 7th graders learned about protests movements from Salem to Montgomery during the civil rights movement as led by Ms. Santina, 
  • 7th graders also analyzed the song “Four Women” by Nina Simone by looking at the lyrics, learning the historical significance of the song (connection to the four little girls who were killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing), and analyzing an interpretive dance performed by three 6th graders and Dr. Woody-Wideman.

One of the highlights of the day was a session about Ethiopia led by 7th grader Amman Messaye. Amman created a session that included a talk about Ethiopian history – teaching students about how Ethiopia defeated the Italian army and remained the only uncolonized country on the continent of Africa. Students learned about the impact of colonization on the rest of the continent including connections to things that are still happening today. His passion for history and his culture was clear in his presentation and students raved about it afterwards. Teachers in the building talked about how many 8th graders said that Amman’s session was their favorite of the day. This was impressive work from a 7th grade student, but this is what the Teach-In is all about. Learning about other cultures from people who have an opportunity to have their cultures celebrated.

We are currently preparing for Women’s History Month and we are looking forward to highlighting women who have made impacts in the past, present, and future.

Later this afternoon we are looking forward to our 7th graders returning from Jekyll Island.

One quick reminder before I close is that we have an asynchronous learning day on March 15th (two were scheduled this year, the first was in September). During our asynchronous learning days, students will stay home while they do school work (the building will be closed to students) on March 15th. This will be a teacher work day during which teachers will be spending the day planning, grading, meeting with teaching partners, generally catching up on work, and working to improve their practice.

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





Trivia Answers:

  • The first college in the United States to award African Americans graduate degrees was Clark Atlanta.
  • The Atlanta Laundry Workers’ Strike began in 1881.
  • The oldest African American church in Atlanta is Big Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
  • Maynard Jackson was born in Dallas, TX.