School Council Zoom Meeting Tonight!

Please join us tonight at 7:00pm to discuss how our School Advisory Council could support the return to school in September. All are welcome and encouraged to share ideas.

Here is the info to join the Zoom meeting:

Topic: Earl Haig Parent Council
Time: Aug 26, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86916740546

Meeting ID: 869 1674 0546
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Meeting ID: 869 1674 0546
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What a Year It’s Been

…and that’s just the last three months.

This school year started off challenging enough with labour negotiations, but then it truly tested our resiliency when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. As we head into the summer with many worries and uncertainties, we here at the School Advisory Council would like to mention some bright rays that still managed to shine through:

  • Congratulations to our incredible Grade 8 grads! While year-end celebrations will be more than a little different this year, our entire school community is so proud of our graduates and we KNOW you will do incredible things in your new education adventures!
A collage of Earl Haig students standing with 2020 graduation signs
  • Thank you to all who re-directed cancelled pizza lunch money to our food bank fundraiser. Food insecurity is an even greater concern for families right now and every little bit helps.

  • While our TechEH fundraiser came to an abrupt conclusion due to Covid-19, we want to thank everyone who contributed ideas, money, and time to this initiative. Together, we raised over $15,000, and the devices that the school was able to purchase with that money have proven to be invaluable to students during the past few months of remote learning.
  • This year, the SAC boldly went where we’ve never gone before… online! And you all joined us in record numbers. Thank you for logging on for our last two Zoom council meetings. Whatever form our meetings may take in the fall, we hope that you will continue to join us. We will need your ideas and engagement as we strive to support all of our students through the uncertainty of the upcoming school year.

  • Thank you to all of our parents and caregivers who volunteered this year on our advisory council and at our events. We can’t do any of the things we do without all of you, your energy and your ideas.

  • And finally, we absolutely must commend the resiliency of our children, families, educators and staff. This year has challenged and changed us all in one way or another. Our Earl Haig community is engaged, supportive, and innovative, and we know we will rise together to meet the changes and challenges that we may meet in the fall.

Have a safe and sunny summer. We can’t wait to see you (in person!) in September.

Raising Anti-Racist Kids

“When you know better, you do better.” – Maya Angelou

Let’s continue to do the much needed work to help dismantle anti-Black racism by keeping the conversation going in our homes.

Take a look at June’s noteworthy picture book list from the Toronto Public Library (all of which are available as ebooks) and read through this helpful guide (below) from Rania El Mugammar on how to raise anti-racist kids.

A short guide to answering race based questions

Step 1: acknowledge and reward curiosity, reinforce that you are open to, and encouraging of these conversations even when they are difficult.

ex. This is a really important conversation, I am so glad to see you’re thinking about it.
This is a really good question, we should learn more about it together.

Step 2: answer the actual question being asked, provide a direct, honest answer.

ex. Melanin is what determines how dark your skin is, some people have more melanin than others.

Yes, Canada is built on stolen land, Indigenous communities were harmed/killed for Canada to become a country, and they continue to be today.

NB: introduce as much context as your child can comprehend, avoid getting tangential.

Step 3: ask a question back. It’s important to assess where a child is at, and to instill within them that this conversation is their responsibility whether or not they experience racism. You should also remain open to learning from children.

ex. What do you think about that?
what do you think should be done to make racism a thing of the past?

Step 4: compel an action! Addressing racism is all of our responsibility.

ex. The next time that you hear them say something like that again, I want you to say that it’s not true and you’re not okay with it, and I will have your back!

I want you to go to the library and check out some books about race, then we can talk about it.

Step 5: instill a value. It’s important to begin and continue instilling the values and practices of anti-racism in children of all ages. 

ex. In our family, we support and stand up with Black communities, in this house, Black Lives DO Matter!

I understand that we feel guilty when we learn about our privileges, but it’s important to use that guilt to create justice and not get took caught up in our feelings!

Remember:

  • don’t lie, minimize or misrepresent the impact or reality of racism, introduce as much information as is appropriate for the age of the child, add more as they get older
  • don’t present racism as a historical problem, situate it as an issue with a past, present, and future unless we intervene
  • don’t present racism as the behaviour of a few “bad” people but as a system that we all participate in and that some benefit from at the expense of others
    show children examples of resistance beyond what is widely known in popular culture including examples of children and young people resisting injustice
    engage the adults in your life in conversation, children have to learn that no one is exempt
  • remember that for BIPOC children, opting out of the conversation isn’t an option, your children are old enough to talk about race if ours are old enough to experience racism
  • share about your learnings and shortcomings too to encourage accountability and change
  • be as mindful and intentional with your body language and non verbal communication as you are with your words. Children infer that race is a taboo, that should illicit discomfort from the responses of grown folks in their lives. This reinforces fragility and contributes to the lack of safety and race based discrimination that Black, Indigenous and children of color experience.

Follow Rania on Instagram @rania.writes

Also to note, yesterday was Indigenous People’s Day and June is Pride month as well as National Indigenous History month. We hope to provide some related book recommendations shortly that you can share with the kids in your life.