Dear Families,

All of you should have received communication from our new superintendent regarding the choice to offer age-appropriate activities tomorrow at 10 am, in line with a 17-minute, national event that acknowledges the victims of the Parkland school shooting. Because we have a large age range at Sunnyside (students are age 5 to age 15), we have differentiated student activities by grade band. Please note that for K-5 students, Ryan and Ashley (school counselors) will be available for students who choose to not participate in the events described below. In the middle school, Shannon, our assistant principal, will remain in room 211, offering an alternative space for students who choose to stay back. Activities are described below:

From KG, 1st, and 2nd grade teachers:

The K-2 will be having a brief conversation about safety in school and lifting our voices to be heard.  At 10:00 we will walk out to the playground and sit down. Then we will sing three protest songs we know well: Woke Up This Morning, Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around, and This Little Light of Mine.  We’ll repeat those songs for a total of 17 minutes of singing.

From 3rd, 4th and 5th grade teachers

We will have in-class pre-teaching around being an upstander, and breaking the silence against injustice. This will look slightly different in different age classrooms (for example, 5th graders, who know and are aware of the events in Parkland, will watch and discuss an excerpt of Parkland student Emma Gonzalez’ speech at the state capitol, whereas younger 3rd graders may do a gallery walk of quotes about nonviolence from figures like Dr. King, etc).

At 9:55, 3-4-5 will meet on the blacktop by the garden shed, and proceed to do a quiet walk of solidarity around the school block for the 17 minutes. Students who wish to carry signage or placards on the walk will of course be permitted to do so, and we may sing some songs as we walk.  We will not go around the whole block but instead cut through the blacktop like we did with the SES Run/Walk.

From Middle School Teachers:

Middle school classes have already had various lessons about this event and/or why solidarity and speaking one’s truth is important in our society. 

All classes silently walk out linked together at 10 am to the front of the school to give K-5 space on the back…

  • Stand in a Circle linking arms/hands (likely at the front of school around Old Man Cheery to the “Tulip” tree and “native plant” garden… 
  • 8th grade cohort members introduce/makes statement once outside 
  • Middle school students may walk or sing in solidarity with buddy classes and/or groups of younger students. Middle school students may also walk in solidarity with 3-4-5 students during the 17 minute time frame

Please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s teacher is you have additional questions about this event. We are closely following the guidelines put out by PPS, while also trying to meet the developmental needs of students of various ages. 

Thank you,
Amy Kleiner, SES Principal