Engaging in difficult conversations and confronting harsh realities lie ahead. This work will be challenging and it must be a priority. We will not tolerate hate and will work hard, respect all and have Perry Pride.
June 3, 2020
Dear Perry K-8 Families & Staff,
Over the past few days, we have been listening, reflecting and collaborating with staff and colleagues. Like many of you, we have read many statements from various people and organizations about the recently publicized deaths of Black men and women.
We have seen countless examples of the violent, hateful and racist actions that have plagued our country for far too long. Our Black peers continue to be treated as lesser than our White peers. It is our moral obligation to ask what our Black community members need from us.
It is not enough to just listen and increase awareness. We need to take individual and collective action and we need to get better. With this in mind, and after thoughtful collaboration with staff, here are some actions we will be taking (and continuing) as a school community to confront systemic, racial injustices:
Continuing to examine our own biases
Facilitating developmentally-appropriate “circles” about systemic injustices and racist incidents (beginning this week in homerooms and small groups)
Creating People of Color affinity groups (beginning this week with staff and grades 6-8 students)
Continuing to engage families and staff in our Equity Roundtable conversations with a reflective and action-oriented focus on the question “How do the systems and structures our school has created impact our most marginalized student subgroups?” and with an intentional focus on our Black and Brown students and families
Planning for the implementation of student and adult-focused race and identity workshops for the week of June 15th
Communicating and expecting all staff to integrate Social and Emotional (SEL) skills and competencies into daily lessons and units
Enhancing and adjusting our literacy curriculum to better reflect all of our students and to allow for frequent opportunities to discuss racial and systemic injustices
Deepening our understanding of and implementation of culturally responsive practices through professional development opportunities
Continuing to ask for feedback from our students, staff and families to support our actions and next steps, with intentionality for our most marginalized student groups
Some members of our community have reached out to ask how to help. We encourage you to refer to the resources compiled below, as we know in order to truly “be the change” it takes a joint effort between our school, homes and community.
Engaging in difficult conversations and confronting harsh realities lie ahead. This work will be challenging and it must be a priority. We will not tolerate hate and will work hard, respect all and have Perry Pride. In solidarity, Geoff Rose Mike Macchi Perry K-8 School Principals