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From the Principal
Friday, January 22, 2016 1:00 PM

Principal Jonas Buegen
Principal Jonas

On Wednesday night we had uppers exhibition night. It was my first time attending this event and I was so impressed. There is much I could write, but the email I received this morning says it all. It is shared here with permission.  Barton is a special place!  Jonas

Jonas and Allison,

I want to express to you the appreciation that I feel for Barton after being in the commons last night for the uppers dance program.

There are so many things that you accomplish at Barton that I want to put words to.

I was brought to tears several times because of how beautiful the school is and what it does for kids.

First of all I see that the community that is created because of the staff and it’s value of inclusiveness, self-expression and an openness to all is so special and rare. I have a sadness that my 8th grader has no idea that she may not experience this kind of place again in her life. It is such a warm and inclusive place!!

From the art on the walls that speaks to me of world awareness to the way the kids in the audience respected their fellow students to the parents in the audience that were invited to witness kids of many cultures engaging with each other.

This is something that doesn’t happen everywhere!! I have experienced City of Lakes Waldorf school, Armatage Montessory, Burroughs, Anthony, and several homeschool communities. In none of those for elementary education did I see the beauty of creating community like I saw last night at Barton.

My 11th grader went to Washburn after Barton and then explored Benilde and ended up at Perpich center for the arts this year. In seeing these 3 environments, I can say that by comparison, I had no idea how much I should have been valuing Barton.

Barton kids have the gift of experiencing community, having a voice and valuing others. This is something that many kids don’t get to experience. I wish that there were more places in the world like Barton for kids and parents to emulate.

The dance performance was a great example of allowing kids to express their deepest feelings with out judgement. To look honestly at what is inside them and not fear expressing it. Allison, you are so gifted in creating a safe place for the  kids that at this stage in their lives need that space to discover themselves. I value the willingness to allow what some people might “instruct” kids away from expressing because it might be seen as controversial. The aggression from the boys, the current events of our times having to do with race, sexual orientation and hate. I would guess that in many schools in our city, kids would not feel safe to even go there and would be led away from examining and creating a performance that touches on important and potentially controversial topics.

I saw kids that would not usually be together socially building trust, collaborating, creating and celebrating together. All because you created a space that they feel invited and safe to do so. These kids have in their hearts an experience that they will carry with them into adulthood and as they become leaders will inform their choices and actions. THANK YOU!!!!