Head’s Letter—May 31, 2020
Dear MCDS Community,
The last several months have been disorienting for all of us. Recently, the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd have again brought to the forefront the unequal value our society places on the lives of humans depending on the color of their skin. While we are all clamoring for life to get back to “normal,” it is important to acknowledge that the normal that exists for many of our community members isn’t good enough.
There are a number of great resources for adults, both for your own education and to help you speak with your children about racism, including an upcoming 3-part workshop for parents on how to talk to your white children about race. (Happily, the June workshop is already full, which means our community is not the only one leaning into this work.) Other great resources:
- Raising Race Conscious Children
- EmbraceRace: 10 tips for talking to your child about race
- Center for Racial Justice in Education: a gathering of resources including articles and advice from experts
- Teaching Tolerance: a guide for speaking with students about race
- Sojourners: For our white friends desiring to be allies
Our goal is to graduate global citizens who are reflective and open-minded. Engaging in hard and uncomfortable conversations, reading literature with a diversity of perspectives, and asking questions are all critical components of becoming a global citizen. Many of you have been wondering what you can do to help now:
- Give yourself time to think introspectively about how you are feeling and reacting.
- Engage in hard and uncomfortable conversations about racism and justice with your children, your family, and your community.
- Evaluate your sources of information; use critical thinking skills when viewing social media.
- Be a role model for your children and those around you. Words matter, but actions speak volumes.
- Donate to the emergency relief fund for the Madison businesses impacted by the vandalism yesterday.
- Volunteer with organizations that work to solve the underlying problems of unequal access to education, legal aid, housing, jobs, medical care, and resources.
We have work to do as parents, as educators, and as community members. The work ahead is not simple, but worthwhile work never is.
Interim Head of School
Welcome to Madison Country Day School!
Selecting the best school for your child is one of the most important decisions you will make in your lifetime. Madison Country Day School is a choice available to your family as you consider which school best fits your children. We believe that the “one size fits all” approach is not appropriate for an endeavor as important as your child’s education and preparation for a meaningful life.
Our school is best defined by its community. As a fully accredited independent school, Madison Country Day School first and foremost distinguishes itself by the freedom to set its own course—as such, we purposefully have established a school community in which every child is valued for her or his individuality. Madison Country Day School is a student-centered school—a school where each child is truly known. This is first and foremost evident in the expert care and instruction our faculty delivers in a highly personalized yet focused school environment may that be the academic classroom, the athletic fields, the many fine and performing arts spaces, the nature-rich campus or the many field trip destinations.
Your child’s individuality is honored at our school by two core beliefs. Firstly, we believe that every child possesses an extraordinary capacity to learn. We are awed by the potential each child offers our community, may that be the local or global stage. Secondly, we believe a child’s effort is generally more important than ability. This implies that our teachers are focused on fostering a child’s motivation, fully well knowing that the greatest reward a child can experience is the moment a child jubilantly proclaims “I got it,” or “I did it,” or “I love this.” A good dose of intrinsic motivation is the foundation to a healthy confidence to work toward a great outcome—in our case, the International Baccalaureate Diploma, a globally accepted certification of excellence and achievement. It takes great teachers to provide such a foundation—and we have such teachers at Madison Country Day School.
Please accept our invitation to learn more about Madison Country Day School. In the pages of this website you will find an introduction to the school and other information about our academic community. I hope you will then want to visit our campus to meet the people who are Madison Country Day School.
I look forward to seeing you.