Message from the Principal
Dear EMS Families,
In this week’s newsletter, I want to take a moment to address an issue that has been of concern to many in recent weeks, in light of some troubling conduct on city buses and destruction of property in the bathrooms and elsewhere. It is true that, while we have made much progress since September (when the TikTok challenge first emerged), concerning behaviors continue. Our staff and students are embarking on a series of steps to generate dialogue and solutions, and I want to inform you of some of those steps.
In terms of ongoing issues on the bus, we have been trying to tap into all available resources to ensure that our students can feel safe riding city buses to and from school. AP Ellis recently rode a bus to observe behaviors and fact-find. Next week, I will meet with GMT representatives to better understand conduct on the buses from their perspective, review communication protocols when negative events do occur, and update policy on the practice of revoking ridership privileges. We plan to create a lesson to review bus expectations, and consequences for unsafe or inappropriate behaviors; revoking ridership privileges will be among these consequences, though it will be reserved as a last resort. Both EMS and GMT are committed to ensuring all children are safe and comfortable on the buses.
Similarly, the EMS staff and leadership team will be engaged in coming weeks to develop and launch an action plan to promote a safe and responsible school community and climate — one in which we respect people and property, advocate for the care of our learning space and peers, and address poor choices in a way that is both restorative and committed to our community vision. The recent launch of a Student Restorative Practices panel is one part of that larger effort; empowering young people to take care of their school, be peer advocates, and teach and practice restorative techniques is essential if we are to be a restorative culture.
I welcome your thoughts and questions about any of this. I am absolutely invested in being a steward of a vibrant learning community that is a safe and inclusive space for our young people, and I am fortunate to work with a staff of talented educators and a community who share this ideal.