At the core of High Meadow is our commitment to empowering each child to be an independent thinker by providing opportunities to authentically and compassionately participate as a member of a diverse, democratic school community. The insurrection we saw last Wednesday at our nation’s Capitol was a direct threat to Democracy; a travesty and a tragedy that is now part of the story of our nation. These events, and how individuals and entities respond to them, represent a moment in history we want our children to be able to wrap their minds around. Our curriculum and our approach to teaching are designed to make content accessible in age-appropriate ways, and right now we have an opportunity to observe Democracy at work, discuss why a balance of power is so necessary, and to understand how the past has influenced what is happening right before our eyes. These current events have glaringly exposed the vital role that media literacy, anti-racism, and critical thinking play in this world, and particularly in how we choose to educate our children, the next generation of leaders and thinkers.  

While these conversations will take place at school, your family may choose to add to and extend the discussion at home and we want to support you in finding age-appropriate and accessible means to do that work. Here are a few high-quality resources, some of which will be used by teachers in our classrooms over the coming weeks. Please reach out to your child’s teacher(s) if you would like additional support in helping your children understand these weighty concepts.

Starting the conversation:
The Harvard Gazette
National Geographic 

Classroom Resources (but helpful for parents too):
We Are Teachers
Facing History and Ourselves (for adults and older children)

Child psychologists and educational researchers have suggested that focusing on the helpers, or “Upstanders”, can help to alleviate a sense of helplessness when talking about these big, often overwhelming topics. It can be difficult to find hope in the face of fear, but knowledge and empathy are two of our greatest tools in this fight.

With Gratitude,
Dr. Susan Paynter, Head of School