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  • Writer's pictureRachel Langan

Will you be celebrating or mourning on Thursday?

Click or tap here to read a recap of last night's Property & Finance Meeting.

Are you aware that our district calendar lists Thursday November 24 as Thanksgiving and also the National Day of Mourning? Did you know that the National Day of Mourning is a protest and not a holiday? Is it appropriate for our school district to teach about and/or acknowledge the Day of Mourning, or does this cross the line of bringing politics into the classroom? Is it possible to acknowledge the harms suffered by the Native American tribes at the hands of European settlers, while also celebrating Thanksgiving as a holiday?

Regardless of whether you will be celebrating or mourning on Thursday we hope that you will take time to reflect on this quote by John Trudell:

"We’re not Indians and we’re not Native Americans.

We’re older than both concepts.

We’re the people, we’re the human beings."

This quote is a timely reminder that each of us (as humans, and collectively as a nation) are imperfect, but trying to do the best we can. Sometimes our decisions (and the decisions of our nation's leaders) have consequences that change the course of our lives and the lives of others. History is messy. Humans are messy. But we can be thankful that we get a new chance each and every day to make better decisions than we did the day before.

  • A discussion of school/building renovations decades into the future. See the agenda for a schedule and potential costs associated with this.

  • During minutes 29-32 the discussion focuses on the projected enrollment and how those numbers are generated. (Spoiler alert: the are "based on assumptions."

  • Hillsdale Elementary gets mentioned quite a few times (Back to Basics planned to write about this in 2023 but let's just jump into that right now!).

  • At 43:19 Hillsdale is mentioned as being "unique and Montessori-type". If you've ever been to Hillsdale (this author has 5 children and all have all attended Hillsdale) you know that this either sarcasm or an attempt to disguise the truth.

  • 1 hour, 9 minutes: the question arises as to whether or not Hillsdale is safe. It is later determined that a school without air conditioning (Mary C. Howse) is more of a safety concern than Hillsdale (with it's open concept structure.) Hillsdale has very few walls, doors, or windows. (Google "open concept schools 1970s" then click on "images" to get an idea of what this looks like. Board member Tiernan mentions the physical layout of Hillsdale at 1 hour, 4 minutes, 41 seconds.) Perhaps there needs to be discussion of health and safety (air conditioning) vs physical safety (no place for children to congregate if an active shooter enters a school building.)

  • Lastly, a shoutout to board member, Kate Shaw, for repeatedly asking (3x) and finally getting an answer to her question. We appreciate her tenacity and willingness to ask questions.

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