April 15, 2021
Dear City of Lakes Waldorf School Parents,
As we prepare for the week ahead, we want to first acknowledge the tragic killing of Daunte Wright by a police officer on Sunday in Brooklyn Center. We mourn the loss of this beautiful young man and acknowledge the pain, sadness, trauma and anger caused by his death. This tragedy amplifies the hurt that our collective community is feeling as we witness the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.
We acknowledge that for our community members who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color, the killing of another black man in the Twin Cities during a police encounter bears an extraordinary weight—it is a tragedy and trauma which has been compounded again and again over decades and centuries. We grieve your collective trauma at this time and want to embrace and support you. As a school, we acknowledge our responsibility to continue to shed light on the work we have to do to truly create an inclusive, affirming and equitable school environment for all students, staff and families. And to engage in the work of anti-racism with increasing resolve.
Verdict Day: Safety Planning
While we are experiencing a full range of emotions over events taking place in our city and concern for many members of our local community, the safety of our students and staff is our highest priority. With closing arguments in the Chauvin trial set for Monday, April 19, we are making plans for student safety and support on the day the verdict is delivered and the days following.
In our March inservice, CLWS parent and security advisor, Michael Rozin, met with our staff and reviewed various scenarios that could possibly unfold around the trial. He also instructed our staff in safety measures to increase situational awareness while in the play yard, walking in the neighborhood, and conducting aspects of the school day in city parks.
With the support of Rozin Security, our Safety Committee is carefully monitoring potential disturbances to the neighborhoods surrounding our two campuses. We receive a clear and detailed picture of the state of the metro area each day; this includes a comprehensive daily briefing as well as updates throughout the day regarding any unfolding situation in the city. This information provides us with the specific locations of any planned or anticipated gatherings that could impact either of our campuses and information about any civil unrest that could pose safety concerns.
In the event of disturbances to traffic and road closures around the time of the verdict, we will communicate directly with families if we need to adjust our transportation protocols or daily schedule. Please be prepared for all scenarios, including the possibility of school closure or early dismissal. We also encourage parents to take a moment to confirm your notification settings in ParentSquare and ensure your contact information is current.
CLWS has a Demonstrations Policy that is a part of our Crisis and Safety Plan. This policy informs staff of how we would respond if there were a march, protest or demonstration in the area of either campus during school hours. We currently anticipate that protests will be centered at the State Capitol in St. Paul and in downtown Minneapolis near the Government Center. We do not anticipate that protests or civil unrest will disrupt our school day, but we may make choices to stay on campus or indoors, as prudent, in the upcoming days. We will communicate any such plans in advance whenever possible.
Details about rerouting student pick up and carlines would be determined by the specific circumstances and communicated to parents directly should the need arise. Please be prepared to adjust your schedule as needed.
Courage for Our Times
Thank you for being present with each other and your children during these difficult times. Despite their heavy hearts and concerns, our teachers are striving to provide an uplifting and healing educational experience to our students which can hopefully radiate out beyond our school community.
Our current times seem to demand much of each and every one of us. We are called to live with greater resolve, to bring consciousness to our words and actions, and to expand our hearts as never before to embrace the suffering of our fellow human beings—and to truly see ourselves in the other.
As James Baldwin so plainly stated: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” May we each have the courage to face the world as it is and to take our place and do our part in this historic and worldwide movement to create and maintain a world where all human beings are valued equally and each person experiences profound belonging.
Through our collective work and vision, may truth, justice, equality and equity form deep roots as the basis of a free, compassionate and ethical society. The children are watching us to see what we will do with the world they are inheriting.
Marti Stewart, Administrative Director