Monday, October 9th, is Indigenous Peoples’ Day — a holiday highlighting Indigenous peoples’ cultures and suppressed histories. Indigenous Peoples’ Day emerged as a direct challenge to the narratives that undergird Columbus Day — the federal holiday used to celebrate Christopher Columbus’ purported “discovery of America.” Teachers are having conversations with students about the history of Columbus and Indigenous People’s experiences so children can learn, process, and express their thoughts and feelings about this complex topic. As a school with anti-bias and anti-racist values and approaches to teaching and learning, we also encourage children to share what they learn with others. As activists, our jobs are to expand our thinking and empower others to do the same in order to break down systems of oppression and inequality. Please reach out directly to your child’s teacher if you have questions about ways to continue these necessary and courageous conversations at home. There is no school Monday in observance of Indigenous Peoples Day.
We use teddy bears in the classrooms to foster children’s social and emotional growth. Teddy bears invite children to feel comfortable and secure in the school environment, connect to themselves and others, and become conscious of themselves as community members. Teddy Bears can help children connect to their feelings and express them constructively, establishing a safe and supportive learning environment for students. Children are encouraged to think about their bears’ identities and to use found/recycled materials to create safe spaces and activities for the bears, such as houses and playgrounds. All staff members also have bears that they use to model ways of sharing during conversations about social and emotional well-being.
It has come to our attention that some students are wearing smartwatches and using them in the same capacity as cell phones while in school. As per our Policy for Cell Phones, Smartwatches, and Personal Technology, smartwatches cannot be worn during the school day (see policy below). Children will need to leave them in their backpacks or with their teacher and put them back on at dismissal. We will start implementing this procedure tomorrow. The only exceptions to this will be children with personal devices monitoring health-related issues, i.e., glucose readers, heart monitoring, etc.
Dyanthe and Shaquawn
Policy for Cell Phones, smartwatches, and Personal Technology
- Cell phones, smartwatches, computing devices, and portable music and entertainment systems may not be visible during the school day.
- Cell phones, smartwatches, computing devices, and portable music and entertainment systems may not be turned on during recess, class trips, emergency preparedness exercises, camping trips, or bathrooms.
- Improper use of cell phones and smartwatches, including texting, accessing social media during school hours, cyberbullying, and photography, may result in disciplinary measures, including possibly confiscating the cell phone and other measures as indicated by the Chancellor’s Discipline Code.
- Each classroom will have a policy regarding the storage of cell phones, computing devices, and portable music and entertainment systems during the day. Failure to follow the procedure may result in disciplinary measures, including possible device confiscation and other actions as indicated by the Chancellor’s Discipline Code.
- The Neighborhood School is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen cell phones, computing devices, and portable music and entertainment systems.