Hi Families and Friends of MOS,
We hope you've had a chance to rest and are enjoying this beautiful weather. We've been very busy here at Morgan, and I'm excited to share all the incredible ways your children are learning and growing. Us, right along with them.
First, I would like to welcome TWO new members of our Activists! Autumn and Audrey! Their first day has been a smashing success. It feels like they've been a part of our school all along! Their laughter during lunch could be heard in my solitary confinement at the church office. Check out their photo below and make sure you give them a warm MOS welcome if you see them. Parents names are Amber and Jared and we're all very excited to bring them into the fold.
Our reception into the Atlanta Independent School arena has been....overwhelmingly positive. We have 48 applicants in our elementary so far, and many, many more in our early care program. We're not even in February yet. HUGE thanks to Keiran for helping every day with the admissions process. This early in our development, we're all wearing many hats.
The number of applicants truly shows that we need more small schools like MOS. Our admissions process reflects the values and mission we believe in. This means that we seek out faculty, families and volunteers from all socioeconomic and racial backgrounds. We prioritize the marginalized, and will always work for every kid to feel seen in their classroom and their teachers.
Regarding space, we continue actively searching for a place to grow into. There are a few things in the works but we won't make any announcements until the ink is dry. ( What we can share, is that our goal is to not move any further than 12 minutes from our school in Kirkwood. There are a few folks who would love to partner with us, and we're taking our time and being very intentional with our School Site strategic development subcommittee and are weighing all of our options. We find it critically important to grow into a home which offers the school stability allows for space to expand and grow, in the spirit of how we've begun. Community, outdoor space, light and love. Thank you for being patient with us.
We anticipate no significant changes in Elementary next year. We're keeping all of our full time teachers, (they said yes!) and we may grow into a 3rd/4th grade classroom. This will depend on a few factors. We will not go above a 15 kid per classroom size.
Our Newspaper club has been meeting, with David and Justin facilitating. We have a new newspaper name!! Morgan's Messenger! (He would have loved that) I cannot wait to see the first edition of MOS's kid run newspaper.
This month in our Anti-Racist Curriculum, (ARC) we've followed our early ancestors into North America as early as 15,000 years ago. They followed big game of their time. Bison, wooly mammoths and other large mammals in an effort to maintain life. They spread across North America via way of the Eastern Siberian land bridge and into Western Alaska and traveled south into what is now the United States and then in another couple thousand years into Central America. (Mesoamerica) Giving birth to some of the earliest ancient civilizations such as the Mayas, Incas, Aztecs and so many more long forgotten firsts. Such as the Olmecs, Zapotec, Toltec and Teotihuacan people.
As you may have heard from your children, we're spending time learning and becoming better advocates for the original caretakers of the land we occupy in Georgia. Cherokee and Creek people, particularly. In reading, kids are engaged in leveled books about the Trail of Tears, and gaining perspectives from authors whose relatives experienced the history that is so often written from a specific lense. The lense of those who hold the power.
Kids are engaged in group projects across grade levels and are teaching and learning from each other around areas they've expressed interest in. (Shelters/food, culture/customs/clothes, timeline, geography and tools/artifacts.)
Each group has a project manager, researcher, illustrator and writer. They are learning how to take notes, safely navigate kid friendly search engines, how to work together and be leaders. Some kids are making a living timeline, others are recreating an early shelter of the Creek people and others still are recreating tools that were used pre colonization.
They are working hard to develop ideas and plans which will culminate in a project open to the community to represent their learning. A student led exhibit which will be open for the community to experience. At some point in this journey, we will go to Cherokee, NC on a school wide camping trip. We’ll support the Cherokee Nation’s museums, historic sites and walk through a reenactment of a village that is run and organized by the ancestors of those who have so much wisdom and richness to share.
We’re so excited to share the incredible wealth of knowledge your children are becoming experts on. They are fully living in their moments every day they come to school. Stephanie and Laura have lots of wonderful ways you all as parents can support your children's progress at home. Please, do remember to have your kiddos working on math and reading every single day. It truly helps, and teaches accountability.
As a school, we are learning to also be fully present in the moment, while aggressively preparing for an undeniably exciting future which will inspire others to lean into the memories and writings of the past. We hope your children will always seek out the remnants of voices who did not hold the power, and share their story so that we may make a better future for everyone. Today.