April 19, 2021
Dear CLWS Parents,
We are writing to update you on our plans for the remainder of the week. We have been closely following the unfolding events in the Twin Cities. As you know, closing arguments in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd concluded today and jurors have begun deliberation. This afternoon, Governor Walz declared a state of emergency across the Twin Cities metro area and state troopers from Nebraska and Ohio have been requested to support local and state law enforcement.
After thorough consideration, we have decided to close all programs Wednesday-Friday (April 21-23) as our city anticipates the announcement of the verdict.
We are making this decision due to a number of factors. Our two campuses are both within 2 miles of the Hennepin County Government Center and Courthouse where the trial is taking place and a center for community protests and security build-up. It is possible that roadways leading into and out of downtown and other major thoroughfares will be closed to normal traffic, making transportation to and from our campuses challenging for families and staff. The Whittier Campus is not far from George Floyd Square which is also likely to be a center for civil protest. In addition, St. Mark’s Cathedral, which houses our Loring Campus, informed us this afternoon of their decision to be closed Wednesday through Friday.
Our toddler through grade three programs will have no school days, Wednesday through Friday. Grades four through eight will have no school on Wednesday and modified distance learning activities on Thursday and Friday. More information for middle grades students will be provided by your child’s class teacher.
We understand that school closures present unplanned challenges for all families and we do not make this decision easily. While it is impossible for us to know when the verdict will be delivered and what the impact will be of that verdict, we do know that the result of this trial will have a significant impact on our community.
These plans are made based on what we know today. Should trial activities change, we will reevaluate, adjust plans, and let families know as soon as possible.
Our hearts go out to all those in our community who are feeling concerned about the heightened presence of law enforcement, to all of our community leaders who are offering strength, empathy and resolve, to elected city officials who are having to make tremendously difficult decisions, and to our citizens who are experiencing historical trauma and standing up to racial injustice.
Thank you for your understanding as we navigate the days ahead.
Marti Stewart, Administrative Director
Soni Albright and Marcee Hansen, on behalf of the Safety Committee