TC Jewfolk is tracking school district statements about the Israel-Hamas war, which you can read below. If we miss a school or an updated statement, let us know by emailing [email protected], and we’ll update here. Note that several schools sent links to outside resources in the same email as their statements – for the sake of clarity in this tracker, here we include only the statements.
Click on a school district to navigate to its statement(s).
- St. Louis Park
- Groves Learning Organization
- University of Minnesota
- St. Paul Academy and Summit School
- Agamim Classical Academy
- Mitchell Hamline School of Law
- District 197 – W. St. Paul, Mendota Heights, Eagan
- Minneapolis Public Schools
- Saint Paul Public Schools
- City Of Lakes Waldorf School
- St. Anthony – New Brighton Schools
- Minneapolis Community & Technical College
Dear Hopkins Families:
The world in which we live and are educating our students is highly fraught. Our Hopkins students, from early childhood on, are susceptible to and deeply impacted by issues occurring across our globe.
In Hopkins, one of our six core values is love. Love, being the far opposite of hate, drives how we view and interact with each of our students and prompts us to educate each at their highest potential.
It is with the spirit of love that we have for our students, staff and families that we unequivocally denounce the hate-filled terrorist attacks on Israeli families that have and will continue to result in thousands of innocent lives being taken in Israel and in the Gaza Strip. We denounce Hamas and all terrorist organizations who engage in behaviors that lack all respect for human life.
We know this war is hurting our Jewish families and hurting families with connections in Gaza. I have heard concerns from some parents that they fear acts of retaliation as well as anti-Semitic or Islamophobic behaviors across society. They are also asking us to ensure these behaviors do not show up in our schools.
This week, I have been in contact with our principals, asking them to support school staff so we can all work together to help our students. We are also watchful of our staff who may need additional support. We will work together as district and school leadership teams to be closely observant and proactive in educating our students while intervening in any possible harming behaviors. Specific supports being put into place include: checking in with individual staff and students when we know of direct impact, mental health support for students, teaching resources for staff aligned with developmental needs of students, and administrators and counselors meeting with groups of students, staff or families upon request.
In Hopkins, we have students and families from all around the world – nearly 70 languages and 72+ countries of origin represented. We are a microcosm of our diverse world. While it is often difficult to build trusting and authentic cultural bridges, we lean into the important work of creating Hopkins spaces where we each and all belong and feel safe. We will stand together to support each other.
Hopkins families, we must always take opportunities to intentionally determine and live out how we will co-exist. Now more than ever, this is an important time to ensure our core values of love, authentic inclusivity, and humility of heart show up in how we support our students, staff, families and one another. Please let us know if there are specific ways we can support you.
Hopkins parents and caregivers: We must work together to monitor our children and students’ use of social media. Not only is there misinformation and fake news, there are horrific images and videos that no one – especially young people – should see. Please monitor your student’s social media and emphasize with them that they should not look at, comment on or forward anything they see that promotes or depicts violence.
We are deeply sorry for the impact these hateful atrocities have had on families at home and abroad.
Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed
Hopkins Schools Superintendent
St. Louis Park
Dear SLP families,
Over many years but especially in the last few days, our world witnessed distressing events unfolding in the Middle East. The repercussions of these events resonate globally and within our community. These events deeply affect our students, staff, and families.
We wish to remind everyone that while world events may be beyond our control, our response in honor of the humanity and dignity within our own community and schools are not. Our topmost priority is to ensure a safe, respectful, and nurturing environment for all our students and staff.
In light of these recent events, our educators and staff are prepared to provide support to students. Students are encouraged to meet with school social workers, psychologists and guidance counselors as needed. Additionally, site leaders will be available to hold space for students together in community. These resources will play a pivotal role in navigating discussions and concerns that might arise.
We are also including resources for parents. It is recommended to discuss the impact of social media during this time. Please talk with your student regularly on what they are seeing and consider reducing social media exposure. Please see additional resources below.
Resources for Families
- How to Talk to Kids About Violence, Crime, and War: Common Sense Media gathers tips and conversation starters to help you talk to kids of different ages about the toughest topics.
- National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Provides resources that can be filtered by topic or keyword and by audience with a focus on how adults can identify traumatic responses in young people and how to support them.
Recognizing the diverse backgrounds and lived experiences within our community, we understand that the effects of these events will vary. In the coming days, some might need additional support. We encourage you to utilize school and community resources for mental health support. In challenging times, our commitment to each other and understanding are our greatest strengths. We are here for you.
Dear Edina Public Schools Community,
On behalf of Edina Public Schools’ leadership team, we wanted to express support for those in our community who are experiencing significant trauma, confusion, and stress in regard to the recent attack on Israel. Our heart goes out to students, staff, and families among us who are currently experiencing distress and anxiety concerning the safety and well-being of their relatives and loved ones.
We want to be sure our students and staff are supported during this time and on an ongoing basis as needed. We welcome families to reach out to your schools if your child needs additional support. We have counseling services and resources available to support the emotional well-being of our students and staff during this agonizing time. Attached here is a resource to support conversations at home.
We understand and share in the concern that global acts of violence can magnify local discord. We must stress, Edina Public Schools deeply condemns antisemitism and islamophobia. We will not tolerate hateful or inappropriate comments or behaviors of any kind and will work diligently to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for our students and staff. Let’s come together now to support each other and to stand up to hate and violence.
In times like these, it is crucial that we unite as a community, demonstrating the compassion, resilience, and unity that define the Edina Public Schools community. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to all those affected by the tragic loss of life and suffering.
Dr. Stacie Stanley, Superintendent
Paul Paetzel, Edina High School Principal
Patrick Bass, Valley View Middle Principal
Tricia Pettis, South View Middle Principal
Paul Domer, Concord Elementary School Principal
Lisa Masica, Cornelia Elementary School Principal
Karen Bergman, Countryside Elementary School Principal
Kari Dahlquist, Creek Valley Elementary School Principal
Cara Rieckenberg, Highlands Elementary School Principal
Chris Holden, Normandale Elementary School Principal
Steven Cullison, Edina Virtual Pathway Coordinator
Dear WPS Families and Staff,
Many in our school community are impacted by the violence that occurred over the weekend that continues to unfold in Israel and Gaza. We know we have a number of students, staff and families who are hurting and worried about their relatives and loved ones. And we all feel the impact as we learn more about the war and its global implications.
Please remember that our staff is always here for you and reach out if you need additional support today or in the future. For immediate support, please reach out to your teacher, counselor or principal.
Chace B. Anderson
Dear Wayzata High School Students and Staff,
Due to the attack by Hamas on civilian communities within Israel and the escalating crisis that continues to unfold, many in our school community are experiencing significant trauma, confusion and stress. We have students and families from or with close ties to those living in Israel and Gaza and surrounding areas who are hurting and/or are confused about the conflict.
As you might imagine, the conflict will feel personal for a number of our students and staff. Our strength as a school community must come from our ability to understand and respect a diversity of ideas, beliefs and backgrounds, and our collective ability to navigate challenging times together as a community of one.
For some of our classes, the conflict may be relevant to the course being taught. Regardless of relevancy, we will continue to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment, free from prejudice and rhetoric. We will not tolerate hateful or inappropriate comments of any kind related to this conflict.
Please reach out if you need additional support today or in the future. For immediate support, please reach out to your Student Support Team. I’m always here to listen to your thoughts and concerns as well. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly at [email protected].
Groves Learning Organization
Dear GLO Community Members,
Thank you for your feedback on our earlier GLO message on the tragedy in the Middle East. As this horrible tragedy continues, I want to be clear that Groves Learning Organization condemns all terrorism and mass atrocities. This includes the deliberate attack on civilians by Hamas, and the fact that they have called for today, Friday, October 13, to be a global jihad against Israel and Jewish people around the world. Local law enforcement assures me that there is no known or credible threat to our community at this time. Still, our safety and security team and protocols are vigilantly monitoring our campus and our surrounding St. Louis Park and Minneapolis communities for any signs of violence.
We remain committed to working with our broader community to provide support and resources and to ensure the emotional and physical safety of those on our premises. We are reaching out to K-12 and higher education peers, experts in a variety of sectors, and local leaders in the local and Minnesota Jewish community to ensure that Groves’ responses to this tragedy are as well considered as possible. To underscore from my previous communication, our primary focus is on offering care and support to our students and families. We have included two additional resources curated and shared by the Heilicher Jewish Day School (see below) to help community members engage in discussion with their families as appropriate.
1. How to Talk to Children About the Conflict by Rabbi Edythe Held Mencher L.C.S.W.
2. 10 Tips for Parents and Teachers of Elementary School Children in a Time of War from the American Psychological Association
Again, GLO stands against all forms of hate and terror. We are a community whose core values aim to ensure our students, families, faculty and staff are engaged with a sense of belonging, sharing, and support. Please reach out to your children’s teacher, counselor, or Division Director if we can provide any additional support to you or your family at this time.
– G. Bryan Fleming, President
Dear GLO Community,
I’m writing on behalf of our Groves Learning Organization community to convey and share our heartfelt condolences for the recent atrocities and war in Israel and Gaza. It’s not lost on me that crises and tragedy, even across the globe, can have significant and lasting impacts in the lives of our students, families, and employees. In the past 72 hours, I have been made aware that many in our community are struggling mightily having heard from loved ones who are in the region and who are either missing and/or suffering. Here at GLO, we embody an ethos that explicitly encourages all of us to “embrace multiple perspectives while demonstrating curiosity about that which can be challenging…” As always, we are committed to supporting our people, especially our students, in developmentally appropriate ways during these difficult times.
Right now our singular focus is on offering care and support to our families. As we know all too well, access to graphic images of violence is rampant on devices, and we urge you to carefully monitor your children’s tech access. We have included a comprehensive resource below to help you engage in discussion with your children as appropriate for your family.
Sadly, when there is conflict in the Middle East region, anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim hate rise across our local St. Louis Park and Twin Cities communities as well as across the nation. At GLO, we stand against all forms of hate. We are a community that intentionally holds to our core values so that all who enter our doors do so freely in all of their humanity.
I encourage Academy families to reach out to your children’s teacher, counselor, or Division Director if you need further support.
– G. Bryan Fleming, President
Robbinsdale Area Schools
Dear Robbinsdale Area Schools staff, families and community,
Schools are often the heartbeat of a community. Every day they’re filled with bright students and trusted staff – supported by dedicated families and loyal neighbors.
When a crisis or tragedy occurs, whether locally or globally, people often turn to schools in search of words of encouragement or a helping hand. Sometimes, people want the school-community to stand up and acknowledge hate and violence.
Robbinsdale Area Schools (Rdale) is a wonderful and diverse place, and right now our Jewish and Muslim families may be scared and hurting. People you know who live here, work here and send children to school here have been impacted by the war in Israel and Gaza.
We want to be clear: we denounce the hate-filled terrorist attacks experienced by Israeli families at the hands of Hamas, the result of which has caused war in Gaza.
We’ve heard from people who are anxious about what the global escalation of violence might mean here in our school community. Antisemitism and Islamophobia are wrong and have no place in the world. That includes our schools.
Since the conflict began, our administrative team and principals have prepared schools and staff to be on the lookout for inappropriate behavior. They’re also ready to help students, staff and families who need additional support. School social workers, counselors and other resources are available to those who need them.
To all of our families – please work to monitor your student’s social media usage. Not only is there rampant misinformation about the crisis, but there are truly awful images and videos circulating showing the horrors of the terrorist attacks and war that no one, but especially young people, should see.
It’s difficult to know that some families and others in our community are experiencing grief, angst and anger due to this situation happening in the Middle East. Many of us share similar feelings and worry that this crisis will continue longer than any of us would like it to. It’s heartbreaking on many levels, and we’re so sorry this is happening.
Please continue to take care of yourself and your loved ones during this difficult time.
Interim Superintendent, Robbinsdale Area Schools
Dear Armstrong High School Students and Families,
I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to address the recent events in Israel and the Gaza Strip and recognize that these situations may impact some of our families directly. We understand the concerns and emotions/trauma that can arise during such challenging times.
At Armstrong High School, we are committed to supporting our students and families. We want to assure you that we have resources available to help those who may be struggling due to the current situation. Our counseling services are open to all students, providing a safe and confidential space to discuss any concerns or seek emotional support. We also have the student support center open (RM 357) for students, and we have our Cultural Resource Room (across from the main office).
Additionally, we encourage open communication. If your family is facing challenges related to the crisis, please reach out to our school administration or counseling staff. We are here to assist in any way we can and will work together to ensure the well-being of our students and their families.
Wishing you strength and resilience during these difficult times. Armstrong High School cares about all of our students and ALL are welcome in our school.
Erick D. Norby Principal
Armstrong High School
Dear Minnetonka Community,
I am resending a message I sent earlier today. In my efforts to be supportive, I understand an important audience was left out of the message of support, and I want to remedy that immediately.
It is in times of crisis that a family comes together. We are a family of students, staff and parents here in the Minnetonka Schools Community, and I ask that we come together now to support each other and to stand up to hate and violence.
I know that many of our Jewish and Muslim families are hurting and are worried, with the escalation of unprecedented violence happening in the Middle East. I’ve heard concerns from some of our parents that they fear acts of retaliation and antisemitic and Islamophobic behavior in society, and they are hoping for support from the district to ensure nothing of that nature happens in our schools.
Over the weekend, I was in contact with our principals, asking all of them to prepare their staff members so that we would all be ready to be of help to students—and fellow staff colleagues—who needed additional support and also so that we were all extra vigilant in watching for and intervening in any possible acts of retaliation or hate.
We have families from many backgrounds in our school district, and though I have not sent an email each time tragic events have dominated the news headlines, I know there are other places in the world where violence looms large and that members of our community have been deeply affected by these events. My heart hurts for you if you and your family are hurting, and my commitment to you is that we will remain a family in Minnetonka Schools, and we will stand together to support each other.
Thank you for your leadership, your investment in and support of each other and for being the kind of school district of which we each can be proud.
Superintendent Minnetonka Public Schools
University of Minnesota
Dear students, faculty, and staff,
As we continue to learn more about the violence unfolding in Israel, Gaza, and the surrounding regions, I and members of my senior leadership team have heard from many members of our University community about the impacts of this horrific violence.
Regardless of an individual’s position on the longstanding conflict in the region, there is no justification for acts of terrorism. We join many others in condemning the abhorrent acts committed by Hamas. We lament for the countless innocent civilians who have lost their lives, been injured, or are being held captive.
We are also saddened by the potential for escalation of violence that could envelop the region in the future. Many in our University community have roots in both Israeli and Palestinian communities and are worried about their friends, family, and loved ones in the region. As this crisis unfolds, we are here to support you.
Our differences can heighten during times of crisis and conflict. Please support each other by sharing empathy and compassion as we navigate this difficult time, including offering flexibility to faculty, staff, and students as they process their personal tragedies. If you experience or witness a bias incident, we encourage you to report it to the Bias Response and Referral Network on the Twin Cities campus and other resources available by campus. Bias incidents cause harm and fracture our campus communities, and the University is committed to addressing these incidents in a timely manner.
I am deeply grateful to all who have reached out to me. I hope for a solution that allows all people in the region to live in peace.
St. Paul Academy and Summit School
A slightly different version of this statement was sent to Middle and Lower school families.
Dear Upper School Families,
In the wake of the recent horrific events in Israel and Gaza, I am writing to communicate the ways we are supporting our Upper School students and to offer resources for support at home. Processing the violence and loss is difficult, and we are keenly aware of how important it is for us to be present and supportive of our students and families.
Our students will have a wide range of knowledge and understanding of the events in Israel and Gaza, and we recognize that their reactions may differ according to their understanding or sense of connection to the events of the past several days. Our primary goal is to listen and help students process their feelings if they arise at school and to be responsive to their needs. Both of our Upper School Counselors, Heidi Lohman and Josie Zuniga, are prepared to help all students process what they may be experiencing. Dr. Naomi Taylor, Director of Intercultural Life, and Alexis Irish, Middle and Upper School Multicultural Program Specialist, are available to listen and work with students as well.
We know that conversations about these events will emerge in classes in the days, weeks, and months to come. Our teachers understand that what may be a conversation about current events for one student may feel very immediate and personal to another student in the room. We are committed to fostering respectful inquiry and searching dialogue in our classes while understanding our responsibility to help students understand these events on multiple levels. Our Courageous Conversations protocols serve as our compass in navigating these kinds of discussions and provide a framework for student inquiry and conversation.
Beyond this, we are aware that members of our school community have personal or family connections who are directly impacted by the violence. Please reach out to teachers or any member of our Upper School Leadership Team if you have specific concerns or needs.
We wanted to share some resources and links that may be helpful at home. The first one is from the National Association of School Psychologists: “Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Educators”. The article, “Care for the Caregiver: Tips for Families and Educators” also offers helpful advice, additional resources, and a reminder for adults to remember to care for themselves as well.
Please reach out to any of us with questions.
We are deeply grateful for our collective community,
Upper School Principal
Agamim Classical Academy
Dear Agamim Classical Academy Families and Staff,
Thank you for your incredible outpouring of support for our team, students, and entire school community as we process together the horrific and deeply tragic events that are ongoing in Israel. As a closeknit school, it is critical that we endeavor together to help Agamim thrive as a safe and inspirational place to learn, build a career, and make lasting friendships.
One of the ways we partner with you is to keep you in the know when any issues of safety, security, or health arise and the ways we are here to help address them. Many Metro area schools, like Agamim, are reaching out to families today to let you know two important statements:
First: Agamim Classical Academy denounces acts of hate and violence, including antisemitic and Islamophobic speech and actions. We urge our families and staff to work with each other and with our students to ensure our school is safe, welcoming, calm, and supportive at all times. Thank you for modeling for our children our unity and commitment to wise, virtuous, and compassionate ways of being.
Second: Our school is small, diverse, and focused on connecting with each other in meaningful ways. As result, we know our Jewish and Muslim families and staff are suffering right now as they are directly impacted by this war. Many members of our community are also concerned that global escalations of violence may have negative consequences in our schools. Since learning of the attacks in Israel, our school’s leadership team has remained vigilant and is working closely with local law enforcement, our landlord Calvary and fellow tenant Berry Patch, and Metro-wide agencies to provide a united response to keeping our school safe and supportive.
To help Agamim stay safe and supportive, here are our requests of the entire community:
- Continue to reach out to each other in care and support. We will likely be working through this together for an extended period of time.
- Try to remain both calm and vigilant and notify us if anything seems unsafe or violates our policies against hate and violence.
- Report potential or direct threats to Agamim so we can respond with our safety and law enforcement partners.
- Contact our social work team and school leaders if you need someone to process any emotions you are experiencing as a student, family, or staff member.
- Monitor children’s access to media, especially social media. Many deeply disturbing images, statements, misinformation, and videos are circulating through social media, and our young people should not be exposed to them.
- If you experience worry about potential negative impacts on our school stemming from this war, please let the school know your concerns and make the decisions you believe are best for you and your family. We are here to listen and help.
We are very grateful that Agamim is here to love our community in difficult and beautiful times. Please let us know how we can be a source of strength and security for you.
With gratitude for you all, Miranda
Miranda Morton Head of School + Executive Director
Dear Agamim Families,
As you may know a war has been declared in Israel. We have several teachers from Israel on assignment at Agamim who are heartsick and worried about friends and family back home.
Although it seems there is little to offer aside from kind words, Ms. Morton has offered an idea to help show our support. APC will be gathering funds to buy food delivery and restaurant cards for these staff members. Hopefully this will be tangible reminder that their American school community cares for them and will allow them to gather as a community to support/console each other as well. If you are interested in contributing to this fund, you may send money to APC via PayPal (@AgamimParentChamps – Important: PLEASE click “for Friends and Family” and NOT Business for goods and Service which removes a fee) or leave money in the office “Attention: Parent Champions.”
Parent Champions will be giving the gifts Friday, so please make any donations by Thursday evening.
Dear Breck Families,
On behalf of our Breck community, we share our profound sympathy for the recent atrocities and war in Israel and Gaza. Crises near and far deeply impact the lives of our students, families, faculty, and staff. Importantly, we are aware that many families in our community have close ties with the region and are suffering. The unceasing complexities of our world impact our students’ day to day and, as always, we are committed to supporting them in developmentally appropriate ways.
Our focus is on offering care and support. Earlier today, Jewish students in our Middle and Upper School affinity groups met during lunch and will collectively meet on Thursday during the allotted affinity time. As we move toward the remainder of the week, we will provide appropriate opportunities for learning, empathy, and discourse regarding this complex topic. As we know, access to graphic images of violence are rampant on devices and we urge you to accompany your children closely. We have included a few resources below to help you engage in discussion with your children as appropriate for your family.
Research tells us that when there is conflict in the Middle East, anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim hate increases across the country. At Breck, we stand against anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and all forms of hate. We are fortunate to be part of a community that leans heavily on our core values for a sense of unity and connection in the hardest of moments.
Please reach out to your childrens’ teacher, counselor, Chaplain, or Division Director if we can be of further support.
Chéleah Googe, Ph.D.
Director, Melrose Center for Leadership and Equity
Natalia R. Hernández, Ed.D.
Head of School
Mitchell Hamline School of Law
Oct. 19 statement:
I write to address concerns raised by members of the Mitchell Hamline community regarding certain social media postings made by individuals affiliated with the law school. Because these postings have raised concerns about Antisemitism, I want to leave no doubt about where Mitchell Hamline stands: There is no place at the law school for Antisemitism or any other form of bias. Any messages espousing such views do not come from Mitchell Hamline as an institution and do not represent the views of the school, the Board of Trustees, or me. No faculty member, center or institute, employee, or student speaks on this matter on behalf of the law school.
In these extraordinarily difficult times, our obligations to communicate with one another with civility and empathy are even more paramount. Again, there is no place here for Antisemitism or Islamophobia or any other form of bias. We must take care to exercise curiosity and compassion in our interactions with one another. We are obliged to make up our own minds based on due diligence and careful thinking.
Importantly, I also want to applaud those in our community whose work over the past days has exemplified the best kinds of communication, collaboration, and mutual support.
Leadership in different student organizations working together on joint programs to enhance community; leaders and representatives of student government providing advocacy and support; students, faculty, and staff with different perspectives sharing their own views and providing space and understanding for others to share theirs – many in our community have been reaching out to support others who are struggling and suffering in tangible ways. These instances exemplify what we stand for as an institution. I am heartened by the many instances of support, collaboration, and community care that align with our school’s mission.
We are one community – and we must stand together for our values and our mission. Please take care of yourselves and one another.
Jim Hilbert, interim president and dean
Oct. 12 Statement:
Dear Mitchell Hamline Community,
I very much appreciate all the support, feedback, and understanding that so many of you have shared with me in response to my email on Tuesday and regarding the circumstances in Israel and Gaza.
I want to make clear that Mitchell Hamline condemns the horrific acts of terror by Hamas. The events that have taken place and continue to take place are harrowing for the people of Israel, Gaza, and our community.
Mitchell Hamline condemns all forms of anti-Semitism. We grieve for the devastating loss of life in the region and stand with all civilians in Gaza and Israel whose lives have been and are being threatened, lost, and devastated.
I want to reiterate the part of my message from Tuesday encouraging mutual care and support. This is a time of particular need for many of you and your colleagues. Please extend whatever compassion and understanding you can to one another. As an institution, we want to provide as much support as we can. The list of resources for students and employees is listed again at the bottom of this email.
Interim President and Dean
Oct. 10 statement:
The events in the Middle East have impacted students, staff, and faculty at Mitchell Hamline. Many in our community have family and friends in both Israel and Gaza. The school works with adjunct faculty who live and work in the region. Some of us have studied or taught in the Dispute Resolution Institute’s Study Abroad program to the Holy Land. We will be evaluating whether the current program—Conflict Resolution from Religious Traditions—can be offered this January.
These events can be traumatic and unsettling to those of us with personal connections as well as to those of us who are not directly or personally impacted. If you need support, resources are available. Those resources are detailed at the bottom of this message.
It is incumbent on all of us to provide compassion to one another always, and especially during difficult times. As a community, we do not discriminate based on religion or ethnicity or culture or any other personal attribute. Our support for each other will not waver. Please take care of yourselves and look out for one another.
Jim Hilbert, interim president and dean
District 197 – W. ST. PAUL-MENDOTA HTS-EAGAN
Dear School District 197 Families,
As we learn more about the violence in Israel, Gaza, and the surrounding regions, I have heard from many District families about the impacts of these tragic events. While we don’t typically address global issues, we’re addressing this issue now because families are coming to us for support.
Many in our school community have roots in both Israeli and Palestinian communities and are worried about their friends, family, and loved ones in the region. I’ve heard concerns from some of our parents that they fear increasing Antisemitic and Islamophobic behavior in society and are hoping for support from the district to ensure nothing of that nature happens in our schools. As this crisis unfolds, we are here to support you.
Our focus will continue to ensure our schools remain safe, inclusive, and welcoming environments for our students, families, and staff. We want to be clear that all forms of bullying and discrimination will not be tolerated and are prohibited by District Policy. We denounce hate and violence in any form.
Please know that our counselors and staff are always available to support students who may need help processing their feelings about what they have been seeing on the news or hearing in discussions. Feel free to reach out directly to your student’s principal, counselor, or teachers if you feel they may need additional support at school during this time. The more we know about how the world around our students affects them, the better we can partner with our families.
We have also gathered resources below to support families with any conversations they choose to have with their children.
* Talking to Children about War
* Helping Students in Troubling Times
* Resilience in a time of war: Tips for parents and teachers of elementary school children
* Resilience in a time of war: Tips for parents and teachers of middle school children
My heart is with those who are hurting, and I am grateful to all who have reached out to me. We will do all we can to support our school community during this very difficult time in the world.
Minneapolis Public Schools
We are horrified and heartbroken to witness the devastating loss of life, human suffering, and destruction experienced by Israeli and Palestinian families.
We acknowledge the fear many are experiencing right now, and we are here to provide support. While at this time there are no known threats involving the Minneapolis Public Schools community, as a precaution our Emergency Management, Safety & Security team will continue to remain in close contact with public safety officials and law enforcement.
As we work to support those impacted, we must remain vigilant and continue to swiftly reject hatred in all of its forms. We commit to doing our part to fight hate and Minneapolis Public Schools is here for our students and staff as our community witnesses, grieves, and hopes for a quick end to this violence. Our school social workers, psychologists, nurses and mental health support specialists are available to check in with students. Individuals can also use our HELPme App (download now via Apple or Google) to request assistance 24 hours/day. We also strongly encourage talking with students about their use of social media during this time as there are graphic images and misinformation being shared online.
Minneapolis Public Schools staff are encouraged to contact our Employee Assistance program if you would like to speak with someone about grief, anxiety or stress. Assistance is available 24/7 via phone, web portal, chat and video.
Saint Paul Public Schools
Dear Saint Paul Public Schools Community,
Like many of you, I have watched the unspeakable violence in Israel and Gaza with great concern and sadness for the human suffering and loss of life of thousands of innocent people. While extremely troubling for us all, this news can be particularly difficult for children and teens to process.
We at Saint Paul Public Schools know this is an upsetting time for many of our families. I want to assure you that our school staff are here to support you and your children, and to reinforce that we must all support one another. It is also important to remember that every child is unique and may be affected by this news in different ways. If you are concerned about your child’s well-being, or if your student has any concerns about what is happening in the Middle East, please reach out to their school counselor or social worker.
When talking to your children about the violence in Israel and Gaza, it is important to keep the conversation honest and age-appropriate. Start by asking them what they know. Explain the situation in a way that is easy for them to understand, using simple language. Be honest about what is happening, but reassure them that they are safe. Below are a few resources that may be helpful:
* Supporting Youth Affected by Violence in Israel and Gaza
* San Diego County Office of Education Resources
* How to Talk About the Israel Hamas War: Resources for Educators
* Discussing War & Conflict
We always encourage families to discuss responsible use of social media, but I want to emphasize this now more than ever. We are aware that disturbing images may be spreading throughout social media, especially TikTok. It doesn’t take long for one photo or video to make a traumatic and lasting impression, especially on a child or teen.
We are also aware of threats to the United States that are being reported and closely monitored by law enforcement. At this time there are no known threats to SPPS, or in the state of Minnesota. We will continue to monitor the situation and stay in close contact with local and national security and emergency response agencies as needed.
Our focus will continue to be on ensuring our schools remain safe, inclusive and welcoming environments for our students. As always, thank you for your support of your children and our school communities. We stand with our Muslim, Jewish, Arab and all families who are impacted by this war. I join all of you in wishing and hoping that peace prevails.
Joe Gothard, Superintendent
Dear Blake community,
In this difficult time, I write to address the fact that the terrorist organization Hamas has called for today, Friday, October 13, to mark a global jihad against the state of Israel and Jewish people around the world. This is a devastating development in an already horrific week of escalating antisemitism.
Gene Paulauskas, Blake’s Director of Transportation, Security and Safety, has connected with federal and state law enforcement partners regarding this declaration. There is no known threat to the Blake community. Nevertheless, our security team is actively monitoring both our campuses and local communities for signs of disturbance or violence.
Over the last six days, it has been particularly troubling to hear about the past experiences of students, employees and parents who have been the targets of antisemitism, Islamophobia and hate. The consequences of bigotry and terrorism––locally, nationally and globally––are tragic and real. We remain steadfast in our commitment to ensure that Blake is a safe, supportive space for every member of our community.
Today, we will hold learning lunches for Middle School students co-facilitated by Beth Calderone, PK-12 Social Studies Department Chair, and Dr. Jessica Lipschultz, PK-12 Chair for Equity and Instruction. These lunch conversations will mirror those held in the Upper School earlier this week.
Dr. Lipschultz has identified several texts for Lower School teachers to use as read-alouds in the classroom, including Snow in Jerusalem and A Moon for Moe and Mo. She has also made herself available to co-teach lessons with Lower School faculty.
I am grateful for the experience and expertise of our faculty to educate and support students. They approach their work with careful attention to students’ developmental needs. They design lessons that address emergent, timely topics while providing familiarity, stability and structure in the classroom. And they respond to the evolving needs, both educational and emotional, of the students in front of them.
This has been a long and painful week for so many members of our community. I am deeply grateful for the outpouring of responses to my Wednesday message about our support for students around this war. Many of you have shared your personal experiences with bigotry and discrimination. Your willingness to share such personal, vulnerable stories has affirmed what I know to be true about Blake: we deeply value our school community. In difficult times, we come together with our full minds and hearts to support our students and each other.
Anne E. Stavney, Ph.D.
Head of School
Hello Blake parents and guardians,
I’m writing to share information about how we are responding to the Israel and Gaza crisis. Our focus is on students and how we can support and care for them in age-appropriate ways. We recognize that some students are deeply affected by recent events, others feel uninformed, and still others are following the events closely but with some level of personal remove. We want to acknowledge for our students the full range of responses they might be feeling and to provide outlets for education and conversation.
This week we are holding learning lunches for our Upper School students and faculty. These optional sessions, led by social studies faculty, focus on the facts, history, and collective current understanding of the war in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Students have the opportunity to ask questions and process their own personal reactions within a diverse group. In the learning lunch invitation to students, they were asked to be curious learners, respectful speakers and open listeners.
In addition to the learning sessions, Middle School and Upper School social studies teachers are discussing the crisis during class. Faculty are seeking to recognize students’ disparate knowledge, variety of emotions and differing levels of engagement in the topic. In the Upper Elementary grades, teachers are holding developmentally-appropriate classroom discussions where the Israel and Gaza conflict is relevant to the curriculum.
As always, our faculty, staff and administrators aim to ensure each and every student in our community is cared for and supported. Teachers, grade deans, administrators, counselors and affinity group advisors are making themselves available to students and identifying those who appear to be in need. If your child is in need of support, please contact your classroom teacher, advisor or our counseling team. Additionally, this list of resources, (which can also be found on the parent/guardian portal page) may be helpful when talking with your children about violence, loss, grief and war.
As members of a diverse school community we know that among us are families and individuals with direct ties to Israel and Gaza. We understand, too, that the violence there is being felt deeply here by many of our students and adults. Showing care for each other is one very important way we can all live out Blake’s mission, core values and Commitment to Pluralism.
I’m grateful for our community’s commitment to supporting our students and each other.
Anne E. Stavney, Ph.D.
Head of School
Osseo Area Schools
Osseo Area Schools parents/caregivers,
Our world is currently experiencing profound turmoil due to ongoing events in the Middle East. Much of these happenings have been extensively covered in the media and have become a topic of conversation in our school communities. We understand that these events may have a significant impact on members of our community, and we want you to know that our hearts are with all of those that are impacted, both directly and indirectly.
In this time and always, our Osseo Area Schools team is here to support students, staff and families. Our system of supports includes counselors, social workers and student advisors who are able to talk with students and families needing assistance. Please reach out to your school team if you’d like to connect to these services. School leaders and staff will also continue to monitor our school and classroom environments to provide additional support as needed. Additional family resources are available from Common Sense Media and the National Association of School Psychologists.
One of our district’s strategic directions is to create safe, welcoming and inclusive learning environments. An integral piece to this work is fostering a school community where differences are celebrated and diversity is championed. Within this community there is zero tolerance for hateful rhetoric or actions toward any individual or group of individuals.
If you hear of or see any instances of hateful or harmful behavior, we encourage all students, staff and families to report it immediately to a school leader, trusted adult or via our StopIt reporting system. As One Community For All, built on inclusivity and belonging, it’s vital that we continue to support and care for one another in the days and weeks ahead.
City Of Lakes Waldorf School
Dear CLWS Families,
It has been nearly one week since we awoke to the terrible news of the attack on Israel and the tremendous violence and loss of life in Israel and Gaza. The senseless tragedy of harm to innocent children and adults is heart-breaking. Our deepest sympathies go out to the many people who have been impacted by the atrocities of this war within our school community and across the globe. Families and friends in our community have strong ties to this region and are suffering.
We know that the realities of war and the unceasing complexities of our world impact our students’ day to day lives, and we are committed to supporting them in developmentally appropriate ways. More information will be provided in the school newsletter tomorrow.
We hold one another with care, and share a collective call for peace in Israel and Gaza.
Marti Stewart, Administrative Director
on behalf of the CLWS Faculty/Staff and Board of Trustees
St. Anthony – New Brighton Schools
Conflicts across the globe affect our students and families
The following message was sent out to staff last Friday to prepare and potentially discuss this topic with students. We wanted to share with you these resources as well in case you have these conversations with your child.
As a school district, we recognize conflicts in Israel and Ukraine impact our Jewish and Muslim as well as our Ukrainian and Russian families.
In our small, caring environment, we care deeply about and serve students from various backgrounds and it’s important to reiterate our commitment to supporting students.
Teachers and staff may encounter conversations that could arise during the school day, and we’ve put together a list of resources for you to use:
- How to talk to children about conflict and war
- How to talk to kids about violence and war
- Handle with Care: Supporting Young People During Crises
- News Literacy Project’s Misinformation Infographic
- Making a Difference in the Midst of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict | Wide Angle: Lesson Plan
- What Is U.S. Policy on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?
- Crash Course: Conflict in Israel and Palestine
Minneapolis Community & Technical College
Dear Minneapolis College Community,
Over the past few years and months, and in these recent days and hours, we continue to witness a series of unfortunate and disheartening events across the world. These conflicts of violence add to a seemingly endless list of world challenges and communal distress. As a community, we know all too well the impact such events have on one’s mental and emotional wellbeing. No matter the city, state, country, or region, we are not immune to the aftermath these acts of violence have on society.
We know that many members of our campus community are hurting during these unsettling times. Whether you are a student, or a faculty or staff member, our hearts continue to be with you and your loved ones. Minneapolis College is one of the most diverse campuses in Minnesota. We are proud that our campus community is made up of individuals that together encompass an array of identities, beliefs, lifestyles, and lived experiences. When one member of our community is hurting, we are all hurting.
Though we are not positioned to directly impact the outcome of the recent or continued conflicts around the world, we will work to exemplify this year’s MLK program theme of Safeguarding our Beloved Community.
Minneapolis College remains committed to our Mission, Vision, and Values. Now more than ever, we remain committed to our Equity Statement and our journey of becoming an anti-racist institution. If you need support during these times, below is a list of resources.
Take good care of yourselves,
Truamnue Lindsey, Jr.
Vice President of Equity and Inclusion