Finding the Hope in Community

December 15, 2015

To Our CSD Community,

As we head into the Winter Break, we find that we have lots on our minds. All of those many thoughts and concerns begin and end with the children this school community is meant to serve. The world throws an awful lot at them in the relatively short time candlesthey walk it as kids, and the last few months have been no exception. It’s difficult for us as educators and parents not to feel a little battered by the violence and need that seems to crowd in, no matter how hard we work to shelter children from it.

And yet we must not let tragedy and fear overtake us even as we acknowledge it. As adults we owe it to our kids to respond in ways that carry us past fear and isolation. To do otherwise is to reject all that we know about the trust and security that comes from strong communities. Without it we labor under the mistaken conviction that we are best protected by hunkering down, fencing ourselves off, and seeing every person as the “other” who may harm us.

We are lucky to find ourselves in a community where we can and do trust our public safety experts to advise us and do everything in their power to keep us out of harm’s way. And we are even luckier that we make it a priority to build the relationships with those folks and with everyone in our school community so that we can listen and trust that inner voice when it tells us something is amiss.

With all these thoughts swirling in our minds, the five of us have lately in our conversations taken a step back to remind ourselves of the truest things that motivate us:

We rejoice in the knowledge that the adults who are with us on this journey care not just for their own children, but are concerned for the safety and health and development of every child, near and far.

We celebrate a staff that doubles down on its commitment to ALL children, even as the coffers of public education continue to fail them while heaping more and more on teachers’ shoulders.

We take solace in the support of our neighbors who welcome our school and our children and readily make space in civic life for them, even as world events tempt us to retreat into our homes and shut the doors tight.

We find inspiration in the CSD graduates who have moved on to new challenges and opportunities as they encounter the world as young adults, for if the world feels scary to us, imagine the questions this next generation will encounter.

We honor the individual journey of every child and know that within each one is the potential to make the world a better place than we’ve left for them.

Violence and want are real. We see evidence on our TV screens every night. The last few weeks, it has often felt like we cannot escape it.

In this season, which is dedicated to life and love, we ask that you join us in screwing up your courage and your determination and recommitting to the sense of trust and optimism and, ultimately, community that the presence of each child in our lives demands.

Goodness prevails.

In peace and in hope,

Joy, Leslie, Marianne, Connie, and Juli

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