Genuine Inquiry

Middle School
Dear Middle School Families,
I write to you a day later than usual, at the start of the weekend of Earth Day. I have been thinking about the upcoming March For Science on Saturday and Neil DeGrasse Tyson's message, linked below. In it he says "When you have people who don't know much about science standing in denial of it and rising to power, that is a recipe of the complete dismantling of our informed democracy... As a voter, as a citizen, scientific issues will come before you and isn't it worth it to say, I'm going to become scientifcally literate and act intelligently upon them?" This time in our history has drawn the need for genuine inquiry, and the relationship between education and democracy into relief. A school like ours is a wonderful and hopeful place to be right now, where our daily work is fostering those very things: curiosity, dialogue, proof. 
Our own science students are engaged in hypothesizing and inquiring about human body systems, and about designing a city for sustainability. The phrases, What do you think? and How do you know? are probably, as I said to a tour of prospective famlies this week, the most uttered phrases in the middle school. Evidence and proof are a part of all classes. At the Medieval Pageant on Wednesday, sixth graders inhabited their characters as a medieval doctor, or cartographer, or artisan completely. Their sense of the time period and their particular area of expertise was so vast, so full of evidence. The cartographer knew the exact way to damascus. The doctor knew the exact remedy for my ailments (though I was told I most likely had the plague). 
I hope you all enjoy this spring weekend. As a reminder, our Middle School Art Show opens on Wednesday evening with the Performing Arts Festival - performances by seventh and eighth graders - from 6:00-8:00pm. All are welcome and I hope to see many of you there.