Letter from the Head of School: Extraordinary Circumstances
Sent: May 30
Dear Breck Families, Faculty and Staff,
Understanding you have received several communications from me in the past several days, I want to preface this message by sharing that I have made the decision, under our current circumstances, to communicate as much as possible with our Breck community.
Today, Saturday, May 30, 2020, we continue to hold in tension the juxtaposition of extraordinary circumstances. As many ventured out this morning to contribute to the clean-up efforts throughout the Twin Cities, at Breck, we welcomed some of our graduating seniors and their families to stand before the Wilder Bell for a portrait in their caps and gowns. It was heartwarming to see pride in the faces of these parents and joy on the faces of our seniors. And yet, as I write this note to you, I continue to hear sirens and brace for what may be a chaotic and dangerous night.
This morning I spoke with our Golden Valley mayor, Shep Harris, and many of us listened to Governor Tim Walz and various city leaders. All made pleas for citizens to stay home. I urge our community to heed this plea. Whether you are contemplating joining protests, or you are simply having to answer the question, “Can I go out? I just want to be with my friends.” Please keep your children home and please stay home. Our greatest concern is the safety and well being of our community.
Faculty and administrators have taken steps today to ensure that our Breck community members who live close to the areas most affected by the violence in recent nights are safe and have access to support we can offer. I am especially grateful to Alexis Kent, Heidi Kim, Cathy Preissing, and A.J. Colianni along with many other Breck faculty and staff who are carefully considering the needs of our families. Please know that our counselors, Chaplains, and support staff and faculty are at the ready. As a reminder, here is a link to our faculty directory should you want to contact us for any reason.
I also want to express my deep gratitude for the National Guard’s service people who are rolling into our city to help protect our people and places. This protection will help us focus on the work we must do to strive for justice and peace. There is deep and generational pain in our community. The scars and wounds of racism cannot be ignored. And, at the same time, we will not condone violence. We must continue the fight against racism by looking inward and being accountable for our individual fingerprints on systemic inequality. That is how we honor the memory of George Floyd.
Our Episcopal identity and missional commitment to social responsibility act as a strong foundation for our community in these most challenging times.
On Wednesday morning, Upper School students listened to Ugandan climate justice advocate Evelyn Acham.
MS science students collaborated on a climate change research project earlier this year. Their teacher, Ms. Alexander, created a scenario for her students that opened up opportunities for deep conversations about climate justice and helped them understand the complicated nature of negotiating resolutions while also internalizing the need for immediate action to mitigate its impact.
This year, the Breck Math League Team took second in Class 1A at the 2021 Minnesota State High School Mathematics League State Tournament. In a year of virtual practices, meets, and tournaments that literally crossed the International Date Line, the team stuck together and retained their second-place standing for a second year.