Dear Parents and Guardians,

Happy New Year! Our entire MES Community has started off the new year with high hopes and strong and healthy bodies and minds.  It was evident just from our first week back that students and staff were ready to return to school. We are revitalized, rejuvenated, rested and ready to go into the most important learning phase of the school year. We are so very grateful to our faculty, staff members, and families, for the sacrifices you have all made over the holidays to keep your families healthy and safe so we could keep our schools open.  Please keep up your vigilance and remember to stay home if anyone in the family has any one of the Covid-19 symptoms.  The students didn’t miss a beat when they returned on Monday and resumed their diligence with frequent handwashing, wearing their masks, and keeping physically distant. Please do the same when you have to be out in public.  We all made it through the Thanksgiving holiday, however, positive cases in Vermont are still dramatically rising. Your personal habits and efforts will make a big difference in keeping everyone in our community healthy.

After the unrest in Washington, D.C. the other day, I wanted to take the pulse of our faculty and the students to see if there were concerns. I went around to every classroom to check in with the teachers to see if any students had brought up the issue, and I’m pleased to report that not a single child in K, 1, 2, or 3 mentioned anything about it.  The subject was discussed with a few 4th graders, not all.  When it was discussed, the focus was first, that the trouble is over now, and we are all safe. We teach all our students that arguments and disagreements are best solved through talking things out and expressing our feelings, never through violence or destruction of property, so this was an easy lesson to connect and repeat for our students.  Fourth graders will be learning about Democracy and the Constitution, so it’s important that we do talk about difficult events in our country’s history.

If parents need more resources in how to discuss these difficult issues with your child, or how to filter out the media coverage and explain what children see, we’ve provided a few links below.

Tips to talk to your child about the media coverage of traumatic events

How to talk to your children about violence in the news

Local Resources from Lamoille County Mental Health to get help

Resources for School Communities in Times of Crisis

Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers from NASP

When Bad Things are Happening from Teaching ToleranceHelping Children Cope with Frightening News from the Child Mind Institute

And Sesame Street in Communities is another good resource for littles re community violence.

As always, call or email if you need to discuss these matters or have concerns for your child.  888-3101, kate.torrey@lsuu.org

Sincerely,
Kate Torrey, MES Principal

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