Dear Parents, Students, and Staff;
I am writing to provide feedback from my perspective about how our morning and day went across the campus. Mostly, the day was positive. I start this letter with the words I used to end my last letter:
“We are proud that all our students were (will be) engaged in an activity designed to build better community on this day. Whether that was (is) a child writing a message about kindness, a student walking out of class for a cause they believe in, a student going to another building to be a mentor and role model, a child learning from puppets, or students discussing the concept of all people being Appreciated, Acknowledged, Accepted, and Cared for in school – this was (is) time well spent to make a difference.”
The morning activities started at the JrSr High School with a technology problem which delayed the activities for about fifteen minutes. However, with some quick adjustments there was time for all activities. I am providing a link to a portion of the program which summarizes almost all that happened during the extended homeroom period. https://thecube.com/event/ohs-morning-announcements-3-14-786017. There were a modest number of students (approximately 250) who participated in the walk-out in a manner that was respectful to their peers.
The high school students that visited the OIS shared impactful messages of challenge, triumph, and hope for the students in grades 5-6 to realize the pillars of Aevidum; All students being Appreciated, Acknowledged, Accepted, and Cared for in the school.
The students in OES and OPLC participated in their activities centered on kindness.
We will continue throughout the year to work on the themes of today centered on safety, the pillars of Aevidum, and general kindness and decency toward others.
We were thankful to have support from Chief Wilmot of the West Fallowfield Police Department and two patrol officers from the Pennsylvania State Police. We locked down the campus during the time period of 9:30 am – 10:30 am as we advertized and we learned some key things about an actual lockdown of the campus that will support our efforts in planning for emergency situations.
The concept of “walkout” came to us from outside sources with some levels of controversy. It is my belief that we used this situation to do some good things with students today. The three main themes that we heard from people during our listening sessions were present in our morning activities:
- Strong desire to allow students to have their voice on this day by allowing those who desire to walk out to do so.
- Strong concern over safety for all students.
- Strong desire to assure that students who do not want to walk out are not marginalized and that they have something meaningful to do during this time.
Thank you to the many people who participated in the listening sessions and helped us to develop our plan for the day. Additional thanks to anyone who sent messages after the plan was presented earlier this week. All your input has been valuable and hopefully you recognize your ideas and concerns in what transpired today. More so, it is my hope that you see continued work on the themes discussed today in the weeks and months ahead. Feel free to provide me with your input after you have discussed the activities with your children.