Welcome from Kiri Harris,
Dean of Middle School
Dear Middle School families,

I am so excited for the year to come. Alongside the awesome academic experiences teachers have planned, and right in line with this year’s theme of Equality, we have two exciting student-based initiatives that you will hear more about this fall:

  • We’ll build on the momentum of conversations about race and identity. With the leadership of TORCH, middle school students will engage in diversity work throughout the year. We’ll develop a set of yearly queries to assess and reflect on our inclusiveness as a community. TORCH representatives will partner with AFS high school students who are trained in diversity work. They’ll lead our middle school students through the activities they learn. These are extensions of the race conversations we had last year, moving us forward with small but significant actions.

  • We’ll articulate MS guidelines for dress that respect all community members, gender identities, cultures, and ages. Dress code is often a source of unproductive conflict in schools. Deep themes converge in school dress codes -- cultural identity, gender expression, body image, sexualization, and more. Through a shared process early in the year, students, parents/guardians, and faculty will hear each others’ voices on the topic of how we dress for school. The aim is to build greater understanding, mutual respect, and thoughtful decision making -- both in making policies and dressing for the day. Guidelines for dress will continue to be based on our focus on safety, students’ roles as learners, and Quaker values.

    I welcome your thoughts about these student-based initiatives now, and we will reach out about each process during the year. I’m so grateful to work in a middle school that values the voices of its students, and I’m never surprised when student input and ideas lead us to a better place. We fully expect that, and count on it.

    If you have any other thoughts or questions about student life in middle school, please feel welcome to reach out to me. I’m always happy to talk.


    Warmly,
    Kiri

    Kiri Harris
    Middle School Dean
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