Dear ECMCS Parents,

This week, students from primary through middle school will follow the leadership of Dr. Maria Montessori in calling for non-violence in our schools. Montessori is quoted as saying, "Times have changed, and science has made great progress; but our principles have only been confirmed, and along with them our conviction that mankind can hope for a solution to its problems among which the most urgent are those of peace and unity, only by turning its attention and energies to the discovery of the child." Our children have led us to a Call to Action for Peace this week, and we wanted to share their plans with you.

You may want to watch this video of San Qi and the Peace Butterflies created by a small team of adolescents. This traditional folk tale, details the story of warring towns that put down their weapons when the skies are filled with butterflies. Each classroom will watch this movie on Monday or Tuesday and follow-up a discussion by creating origami or other paper butterflies to be hung on the fences on Wednesday, March 14th as part of our Call to Action for Peace. Beneath the butterflies on the Myrick fence, each classroom will hang names of people who inspire them to be kinder to others, watch out for the lonely, or walk a path of peace.

All students and staff will gather in the courtyard to release live butterflies into the sky.  Separately, middle schoolers have chosen to read the names of the 158 victims of the 16 school shootings since 1989 . They will then hang these names under the butterflies on the Rifle Range fence.

If younger students ask about the names, all that will be said at school is they are names of people that inspire us to be kinder to others, watch out for the lonely, or walk a path of peace. If you as parents would like to talk more deeply with your children about the school shootings and the names, we ask that you remind your children that at school we are being mindful of the vast age range of our students and keep the discussion to only the things stated above.

We are so thankful for the "Do Something" committee of parents that helped the middle schoolers realize their vision of a Montessori "Walk Out." If you wish to have your child opt out of any part of these events, please email me as soon as possible. The middle school and parent committees have worked very hard to make sure that our students are safe physically and emotionally while also participating in something that most felt couldn't be ignored. We hope that you will support their efforts in promoting peace and non-violence.

With peace,

Ms. Lara, Ms. Jody, and Ms. Nikki