An Election Day Letter to the Branson Community

On Election Day morning,Tuesday, November 3, 2020 Head of School Chris Mazzola shared the following message with Branson students, faculty & staff, and families:

Dear Branson Community,

We have now been on campus for three weeks and it has been a joyful time for teachers, staff, and students alike. Today marks a historic Election Day that is sure to shape our country's future in fundamental ways. Like so many days over the last eight months, the election may call upon us to wrestle with the many paradoxes that shape our community and our country. We may be faced with tensions that arise when we experience the joy of in-person connection alongside the anxiety and dissonance of deep divisions that persist in our country. And yet, we have learned in the many moments of disappointment, worry, and unanticipated change over the last seven months that the power of human connection is one of the essential elements of the path forward.  

I believe schools must be non-partisan but cannot be apolitical. We have a responsibility to do the following:

  • to create a learning environment that encourages productive civic engagement and respectful discourse;
  • to launch our young people into a world where they are equipped to discuss difficult topics with differing perspectives; and
  • to hone important life skills like listening with empathy, leaning in with curiosity, and expressing an authentic desire to understand.

Yesterday our students led an assembly in which they shared balanced, factual information with our community about the election. Also, in yesterday's Parents' Association meeting Ashton Richards' Civics class presented their work studying different key races around the country. It made me very proud to hear our students, both in Assembly and in the PA meeting, present so thoughtfully and thoroughly about difficult topics. On Wednesday, we will use part of the day to process the election and continue conversations about its impact on our nation and community. 

During this potentially divisive time, our school remains united in our commitment to social justice; to our core values of honor, kindness, courage, and purpose; and to our mission to develop students who make a positive impact in the world by leading lives of integrity, purpose, learning and joy. These commitments remain unchanged regardless of the outcome of today's election and we stand ready to connect with and care for all members of our Branson community.

Best,

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Chris Mazzola

Head of School