• Meher School Community

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. As part of the school’s activities this month, the Equity and Inclusion Committee has prepared a diverse and engaging list of things families can do outside of school to support the Asian and Pacific Island community and celebrate its heritage. Each week this month we’ll send a new set of activities from the committee’s list. Here are this week’s offerings.


Book Recommendations: Week 2

Paper Son: The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong by Julie Leung Age range: 4–8

Time for Bed Miyuki by: Roxane Marie Galliez Age range: 5–8

Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth by: Emily Haynes and Sanjay Patel Age range: 5–8

No Kimchi for Me by: Aram Kim Age range: 5–8

Surfer of the Century by Author: Ellie Crowe Age range: 8–12

Songs to Explore: Week 2 (Traditional Instrumental Music)

Japanese Taiko Drums

Chinese Classical Music

Indian String Music

Dance from West Java

Korean Folk Songs with Gayageum

Hawaiian Pu‘ili

Hawaiian Ipu

Recommended Field Trips: Week 2

US Immigration Station, Angel Island – San Francisco

Ohana Hawaiian BBQ – 2370 Monument Blvd. # 2A, Pleasant Hill

Li Cha Tea – 1245 No. Broadway #5137, Walnut Creek

Discussion Topic: Week 2

Twelve Women to Know for AAPI Heritage Month (for students and parents), Smithsonian Institution

Recipes

Dalgona (Whipped) Coffee (South Korea)

Ingredients (you can double or triple this recipe)

2 Tbs instant coffee

2 Tbs granulated sugar

2 Tbs boiling water

1 cup milk or milk substitute

Optional: ice (if you want chilled coffee)


Instructions

  1. Add the coffee, sugar, and boiling water in a bowl

  2. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, whip on high speed for two minutes

  3. Add the whipped mixture to milk and mix well

Korean Marinated Beef (South Korea)

Ingredients

Marbled beef or thinly-sliced beef

Soy sauce

Sugar

½–1 Tbs minced garlic

1 Tbs sesame oil

1 pinch black pepper

Optional: 2 Tbs cooking wine / white wine


Instructions

  1. Mix 3 parts water to 1 part soy sauce to 1 part sugar (the parent who submitted the recipe suggests 1 part = 1 cup, but it depends on how much beef you have; there should be enough sauce to submerge all the beef)

  2. Add garlic, sesame oil, and black pepper to the sauce

  3. Optional: Add cooking wine or white wine

  4. Mix well

  5. Add the beef to the sauce and leave in the refrigerator for half a day to a day before pan frying or grilling

  6. Enjoy!

Our response to the pandemic and the contributions of our Equity and Inclusion Committee are highlighted in the accreditation report we received last week from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The report was written by the two WASC representatives who visited our campus virtually in March as part of our ongoing accreditation process.

Visiting team members were Karen Mahoney, a retired science teacher from San Jose, and Kristen Saham, director of a private school in Milpitas. Self-Study and Action Plan Every six years, we conduct a comprehensive accreditation “self-study” to aid in our ongoing growth and improvement. Our last self-study was in 2018; this year’s visit was for our mid-point review. The visiting committee’s recommendations will be factored into our schoolwide Action Plan, which details changes we plan to make in all aspects of our program in the months and years to come.

During their remote two-day site visit, the committee met with teachers, administrators, our board of directors, parents, and students. Their work was based on a report we submitted to WASC in March that tracks our progress in areas we identified in our 2018 self-study as “areas for follow-up”: communication, curriculum and assessment, and “meeting the contemporary context.” The latter area assesses our Action Plan in terms of how well it addresses changes in education, at the school, in the wider community, and in society in general. Our Response to the Pandemic “At the time of their last self-study,” the report notes, “the school leadership and teaching staff set challenging goals for themselves. That has not changed. The entire learning community is enthusiastically committed to improving all aspects of their program and taking full advantage of the positive outcomes of some COVID-19 changes.” One of these changes is the integration of technology into the classroom. “Teachers and leadership have worked together to ensure that the technology does not allow any ‘drift’ from their core values and the school’s vision [“Love Nurtures Learning”]. . . . Many staff and teachers indicated that the changes brought by COVID adaptations are positive and will likely continue to be part of the school culture.”

Parent Involvement The report credits our Equity and Inclusion Committee with many of the positive changes it documents. The committee, it says, “has reordered some priorities of the school community and sponsored thoughtful discussions of diversity in the classroom and community, compassion for others, mindful communications, and a number of activities designed to engage all members of the learning community. . . . “These activities, along with the demands of COVID-19 regulations and compliance, have fostered a heightened degree of collaboration between groups, teams, and community constituents.” Schoolwide Strengths The visiting committee’s report identified three “schoolwide strengths” that focus largely on our response to the pandemic:

  • “Resilience. The entire learning community at Meher Schools has demonstrated a thoughtful, resourceful, and creative approach to the challenges of the past 12 months.

  • “Team-based and collaborative integration and implementation of changes.

  • “The school community has fully embraced the requirements to successfully bring students back to campus. Working together to change and rearrange facilities, upgrading technology, and modifying presentation of academic curricula have precipitated unprecedented teamwork and communications.”


Areas for Growth The visiting committee concurred with the areas we identified in our report as “areas for growth” and suggested adding three new areas to our Action Plan. One involved succession planning; the other two were to

  • Continue to consider new ways to engage parents.

  • Continue to encourage diversity and appreciation for diverse cultures, integrating “this appreciation into the fabric of learning.”


“The challenges of the past year have brought this small learning community together in new ways, using the talents of many,” the report states. “The learning community as a whole appears strong and resilient.”

  • Meher School Community

“Remember the day you got that really bad news and you didn’t know how to move on?”


Room 1 teacher Chris Cameron does. “For our family, that day was the day three years ago we found out my wife, Aileen, has breast cancer.


“The good news is that we quickly found the Cancer Support Community for the Bay Area. This amazing organization provides comprehensive care – including counseling, support groups, nutrition, exercise, and education – for cancer patients and their loved ones, all at no cost to those they help.”


Aileen and Chris are taking part in a fundraising event for the Cancer Support Community – the Bay Area Hope Walk – and invite Meher Schools families to support them by joining in. You can walk anywhere, any distance, on any day at any time between this Sunday, May 9, and May 15. To join “Team Aileen’s Allies” and learn more about the event and the Cancer Support Community, click here.