October 31 Activities at TPS

Dear TPS Families,

As a Student Council, we have discussed Halloween within the context of diversity at TPS over the course of the last few years. There are a growing number of children who do not celebrate Halloween because of religious or other reasons. This fall, the executive committee of the Student Council had several long and earnest discussions about Halloween, specifically in relation to the children who do not celebrate the holiday.

The executive council has proposed the following plans for Friday October 31:

-For children in grades 1-8 who celebrate Halloween, there will be a Halloween Assembly in the gym from 8:35 to 9:15 am. There will be limited seating for parents, and parents should not feel obligated to attend (many parents do not.) Children should wear their appropriate costumes to school (please do not send in "weapons" and avoid violent costumes.) After the assembly, we ask that students change out of their costumes. Please be sure to send a change of clothes if your child is in costume.

-For children in grades 1-8 who do not celebrate (or who do not want to celebrate) Halloween, there will be an exciting cosmos-related activity organized by Student Council in the park (or someplace indoors in case of rain) from 8:35 to 9:15am.

-Preschool and kindergarten will have their own celebrations at South Street shortly after arrival. Children who wish to wear a costume should wear the costume to school but bring a change of clothes. After they get settled in the classroom, they will march around the garden, and parents are welcome to watch. The preschoolers will head to the park for snacks and play. If your preschool or kindergarten family does not celebrate Halloween, please email a teacher and we will be sure your child participates in an alternate activity.

-Prior to Halloween, classroom teachers will have thoughtful conversations with their class about the origins and history of Halloween and about why some children and families do not celebrate the holiday. The Student Council has provided teachers with several suggested "talking points," first and foremost of which is that "there are lots of people – including children at TPS - who do not celebrate Halloween – and for a variety of reasons, all of which need to be respected."

On behalf of the school, the Student Council invites everyone to come to school on October 31 looking forward to an activity at which they are comfortable and about which they will be excited.

If your child would like to take part in our cosmos-related alternative event, please fill out the rsvp form below; the Student Council would like to know how many children to expect. Children may make this decision for whatever reason; it will be respected. However, if your child signs up for the cosmos-related activity, it means that he or she will not be dressed up in costume.



The Student Council
Student Council Advisors Virginia Friedman and Lois West