Preparing for the Election

Zaw Lyn

Dear Maret Families:

As we all know, in just a week, our nation is holding elections for local, state, and national offices. Election Day is obviously a big deal, and voting can be accompanied by both anticipation and anxiety.

At Maret, we seek to maximize the excitement and reduce the anxiety by encouraging participation, respectful conversation, and learning. Students work across grades to better understand the fundamentals of democracy as their teachers strive to provide respectful spaces for discourse, dispute, and even disagreement. If anything is central to a Maret education, it is acknowledging that everyone in our community—whether faculty member, student, or parent/guardian—has more to learn.

Last Friday, five Upper School students spoke at Lower School Assembly about the importance of having respectful conversations. They also engaged in a model debate between two literary characters—a Cow from Click, Clack, Moo and Babymouse from the Babymouse Book Series. These characters shared what was most important to them and why they thought they would be the best candidate. The Lower Schoolers will talk more in library class and with their homeroom teachers about these candidates. Students will ultimately have a chance to vote for their favorite candidate on Election Day. Middle Schoolers will also talk about the upcoming election during their advisor meetings and assembly this week.

On Friday, the entire Upper School will be participating in a half-day virtual conference for their annual Community Engagement Day. Students will conduct self-assessments on political values and beliefs. They will attend sessions led by peers on religious freedom and white supremacy, Instagram activism, and international policy around the coronavirus. More than a dozen community organizations and individuals will talk about their work in advocacy and policy initiatives, as well as civic engagement. We will also be hosting spaces next week for students to process the election.

As we come down the home stretch of this very long election season, I ask all of us to practice the values to which everyone at Maret is committed—Respect, Integrity, Excellence, Creativity, the Individual, Connectedness, and Joy. I call them to your attention often, but I never want them to sound hollow from repetition. Especially now, when COVID-19 so greatly reduces the time that students spend on campus together and with their wise teachers, I urge you to encourage your child to consider how they will live out these Core Values on Tuesday—and beyond.

If you have any questions about the election as it relates to Maret, or if you hear anything that concerns you, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or your Division Director.

Be well,

Marjo

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