Learn more about our search for a new Head of SchoolCLICK HERE

Learn more about our search for a new Head of SchoolCLICK HERE

Learn more about our search for a new Head of SchoolCLICK HERE

May 2021

Tue
11

7:00p-8:00p: Ongoing Schools Information Session

Mon-Fri
17-21

NEW FAMILY Welcome Day

Tue
25

5:30p: Making Meaning: A Virtual Art Show

Fri
28

10:00a-11:00a: Mug & Muffin

Mon
31

Memorial Day

School Closed

Wed
02

9:50a-10:20a: Class F End of Year Sing

Thu
03

1:00p-2:00p: Parent Workshop with Eva Peck

Fri
04

9:50a-10:20a: Class C End of Year Sing

Mon
07

End of Year Sings

9:10a-9:40a: Class O 9:50a-10:20a: Class E (3 day) 10:30a-11:00a: Class A 11:10a-11:40a: Class D

Tue
08

End of Year Sings

9:10a-9:40a: Class 6 10:30a-11:00a: Class Y 11:10a-11:40a: Class 3 1:40p-2:10p: Class E (2 day)

Wed
09

End of Year Sings

9:10a-9:40a: Class B 10:30a-11:00a: Class 4 11:10a-11.40a: Class 5

Thu
10

10:30a-11:30a: Class GH End of Year Sing

Fri
11

Last Day Of School For Children

Mon
21

First Day Of Summer Program

Mon
05

Independence Day Weekend

Summer Program Closed

Fri
30

Last Day Of Summer Program

calendar calendar
Letters from Ronnie

Much Work To Do: A Letter from Ronnie

Dear WMS Community,

First, I want to thank you for your sweet notes, hugs, “Congratulations”, and wishes for the future after my announcement that I will be retiring as Head of School. (read here). While the school is in great shape and we remain strong, there is much work to do as we move ahead through what we hope will be the waning pandemic together.

The events of the past year have made it as clear as it has ever been that racism, racial prejudice, and racial injustice are continuing issues for our society. For us, as a community dedicated to the education of young children, they pose the daunting questions of how our kids perceive race and what, if anything, we can do to guide them to a more open and accepting view of racial differences.

I have come across a scholarly article written more than a decade ago that attempts to answer some of these questions in a very sensitive and extremely helpful way. The article, written by Erin N. Winkler, is entitled “Children Are Not Colorblind: How Young Children Learn Race.” We strongly recommend that you read the entire article here.

Here is a very brief summary of some of its findings:

  • It is a myth that young children are colorblind. “Research clearly shows that children not only recognize race from a very young age (as early as six months) but also develop racial biases by age three to five that do not necessarily resemble the racial attitudes of adults in their lives.”
  • “Numerous studies have shown that children’s racial beliefs are not significantly or reliably to those of their parents. Children are motivated to learn and conform to the broader cultural and social norms that will help them function in society. So children collect information from the world around them to actively construct their own beliefs. While children are able to categorize a person according to race, they are often not able to categorize a person by multiple dimensions at once.” So race can be a defining characteristic for young children, as important as gender.
  • “In a variety of studies, white children rarely exhibit anything other than a pro-white bias, while children of color as young as five years old show evidence of being aware of and negatively impacted by stereotypes about their racial group.”
  • “When adults think that very young children do not notice or cannot understand race and racism, they avoid talking about it with their children in a meaningful way. This silence about race does not keep children from noticing race and developing racial biases and prejudices.”
  • As a result, it is critically important that you talk to your young children about race, racial differences and even racial inequality and racism. As Winkler says: “Let go of the notion that you are ‘putting ideas in their heads’ by talking about race. Avoiding conversations about race only encourage prevalent stereotype to remain unchanged.”
  • Some specific advice: “Don’t encourage children to believe that negative racial talk or discriminatory action is the conduct of only ‘sick’ individuals or that it indicates a peculiar character flaw. Talk about the fact that the social world we live in is often unfair to people of color simply because they are people of color and that persisting racial-ethnic inequalities are unjust and morally wrong. Make it clear that racial-ethnic prejudice and discrimination are part of a larger society that needs reform and not just something that individuals do.”

If you do approach discussions with your kids following this advice, I think you will be surprised at how detailed and even sophisticated your children’s understanding about race might be. Our classroom and studio teachers continue to be sensitive to children’s words and ideas about their perceived identities and their questions about difference and sameness. We welcome discussion and hope you will bring your thoughts about this topic to us.

Thank you,

Ronnie

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