Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

While I typically look forward to the start of each school day, I felt a tidal wave of relief this morning at 7:45. We began greeting our middle schoolers and zapping foreheads – a full ten minutes before the train decided to come to rest straddling Neal Rd – and suddenly we were ‘in the moment.’ Throughout the day, the hustle and bustle of school kept [at least some portion of] our minds off of the election. It’s not just the adults who are preoccupied. When Ms. McAllister opened Lightspeed this morning to monitor Chromebook use by her 8th graders, she discovered that all but one of them were staring at electoral maps.

After months of intense, negative, divisive rhetoric, we woke up this morning to find ourselves in limbo, wondering who will be President in January, questioning whether [if necessary] power will be transferred peacefully, and worried about the possible fragility of our Constitution – all against the backdrop of a virus that continues to wreak havoc locally, nationally, and globally.

Amidst all this uncertainty, we at TDS have chosen to focus on what we can control – building and sustaining a positive, inclusive learning community for our students and families, one rooted in our Core Values of integrity, respect, compassion, responsibility, and resilience, and guided by our Statement of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as well as these Guiding Principles:

  • An Ethical Community of Caring: We place a priority on the care and nurturing of the whole school community. We honor and respect diversity in the broadest sense, maintaining an environment in which everyone has a voice and is valued.
     
  • An Educational Partnership: Family, faculty and staff communicate openly, working together to promote student growth and success.
     
  • A Safe Environment: Triangle Day School is a safe place to be, physically, emotionally and intellectually.

While yesterday’s election is important to each of us for myriad reasons, the outcome will not alter any of TDS’ foundational commitments mentioned above. Nor will it change the fact that we are a divided nation. Americans are split along racial, socioeconomic, educational, and geographic lines, just to name a few. For this to improve, and for the future of our democracy, we must raise a generation of citizens who feel compelled to both stand up for their ideals and beliefs, AND make an effort to truly understand the thoughts and experiences of others before coming to their own conclusions. Moreover, we must model this empathy, both at school and at home.

In the days ahead, we ask that everyone respect the sensitivity of the moment by refraining from wearing items endorsing a particular candidate. As Ms. McAllister’s example illustrates, the election is on our students’ minds, and all voices deserve to be heard. Teachers work diligently to ensure that dialogue is civil and respectful. Particularly during these tumultuous times, we are grateful for the community that is TDS – a community in which “different voices, viewpoints, backgrounds and identities are engaged and celebrated,” and all members are respected, cared for, and loved.

As always, we appreciate your partnership, and the opportunity to work with your children each day.

Doug Norry
Head of School