“But before we treat [the cancer of racism], we must believe. Believe all is not lost for you and me and our society. Believe in the possibility that we can strive to be anti-racist from this day forward.” – Dr. Ibram X. Kendi How to be an Anti-Racist

A letter to ECMS Families and Communities in June 2020.
We have been silent. In this pandemic, we have seen Black  and Indigenous communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, but there has been a pandemic of white violence against Black and Brown folx since European colonists came to this country. George Floyd’s murder is no isolated event. It is the product of racist systems and structures that impact us each day and bias that we all hold. We have been complicit in the system we are fighting against. We are recommitting  to our Anti-Racism with more intention with swifter action.
We have to do better than mean well. We have to do more than blame others. We must take this moment to look at ourselves: the words we use, the relationships we build, the ways we shelter ourselves and our children from difficult conversations, the ways we uphold power and privilege. And after we take a good hard look, we have to do something about it.

At ECMS, we refuse to remain silent. We must speak out. We must act. We believe in our anti-racist work and making this work real for ourselves and our children. This week, we committed to making time for our staff to heal and for white staff to commit to the work, and creating space for children to have voice and agency. Here’s what this looked like for our staff, families, and children:

  • Tuesday, June 2nd: A Day of Solidarity: We used time to provide space for radical rest for folx of color on our staff. Radical rest is a term used by Audre Lorde to do the revolutionary work of self care. White folx took up portions of the work, in solidarity with their colleagues.
  • June 2nd-3rd: Staff Affinity Spaces: We made space for staff to process and to make their commitments part of their own and our school’s anti-racist work.
  • Tuesday, June 16th 11:30 AM-12:30 PM: Children’s March (formerly Reverse Parade): Many of us participated in Friday’s “Protest Against Police Brutality” hosted by Citywide Youth Coalition, Fighters for Justice, and Black Lives Matter New Haven (flyer below). In the tradition of the Birmingham Children’s Crusade of 1963 (10 minute PBS video (HERE ), our reverse parade will be a Children’s March focused on celebration of our children and their powerful voices. In classrooms, we will provide space for children to identify what they believe and what we believe as a school. Our Children’s March will celebrate those beliefs, with children sharing their vision for our world with signs hung in their car windows.  Flyer below.

In Solidarity,
The ECMS Team
#ECMSathome

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Elm City Montessori School opened in August 2014 with 70 children ages 3 through 5. It is New Haven’s first public Montessori school, and Connecticut’s only local charter school. Elm City Montessori School is a racially and economically diverse New Haven public elementary school serving PreK-3 through 8th grade, where students are guided to make decisions and work to their full potential through an educational program that follows Dr. Maria Montessori’s philosophy. A Montessori school stresses child centered learning, hands-on inquiry, multi-age classrooms, and intensive family engagement.

Please explore our website to learn more about our school.