JU-A Weekly Note

Dear JU-A Families,

If our students mapped this week onto the "story arc" they've been learning, the climax would surely be our Learning Celebration! Thank you so much for joining us. The students also had the opportunity to proudly share their work with the JU-B and JU-D students the next day.

Thursday was a bittersweet day as we said good-bye to Mary, the student from China who has been a valuable addition to JU-A for the past month. Her parents visited our classroom, and we had a small celebration to wish her the best as she continues her schooling back in Shanghai.

We finished the week with a cathartic clean-out; students went through their folders and backpacks to recycle old work. We are ready to have a fresh start to the rest of this winter and spring!

Something we are excited to launch in the coming months with JU students is a series of lessons on identity development. Through a range of activities and conversations, we’ll examine various important facets of our individual identities and discuss and challenge the ways that we, others, and society at large create static, pre-determined “boxes.”

We’ll begin next week with gender identity. Because the “boxes” that define gender are associated with human anatomy, one of our first classes will include a discussion of male and female reproductive anatomy. The terms we will discuss are: vagina, vulva, ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, breasts, penis, scrotum, and testes. We will not discuss sexuality or sexual health. Students will divide themselves into groups by self-identified gender, and will be taught this class by a teacher of their same gender. We hope that this class will provide important background knowledge and equip all students with common language to use as we examine gender identity as something more than “the sum of our parts.” If you have questions or concerns, please reach out directly to Matt Eskin ([email protected]).

Lastly, please take the time to sign-up for a conference through the doodle poll sent out by the school. Be sure to choose a time when your child is also available, since this round of conferences will be student-led!

Relatedly, please read the following message from art teacher Catherine Bogart-Rome regarding signing up to see her during conferences: I would like to invite you to sign up for a conference so we can talk about what's been happening in art. Here is my Doodle link. If none of these times work for you please contact me to set up an alternative time.  

In partnership,

Emily, Julia, and Jenson