June 8, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
The events of the last two weeks have shaken the nation and led to protests in search of justice. These events remind me of the racist incident that we experienced in our school district just a few months ago. While not directly connected, these incidents are evidence of institutional racism that is present across our society. This is something we cannot stand for and that we will actively speak out against.
As a school district, we are committed to anti-racist efforts and have been on a journey for many years to ensure equity for all students. We are still committed to our plan to address racism, hate and bias in our school district. This plan includes: staff training; additional student education; community outreach opportunities; reviewing curriculum and materials; reviewing policies; and updating our crisis plan. Prior to the school closure due to COVID-19 we started implementing the plan by bringing in a speaker to address students, staff, and the community. We will continue this work knowing that we have only just begun to make a difference.
We must also listen to the voices within our community who need our support. The voices of those students and families who have been historically marginalized must be elevated so that we can create a school system that meets the needs of all students. Working together, we will create a school system where race, gender, sexual preference, gender identity, religion socio-economic status, and ability do not determine destiny.
Aaron J. J. Engel, Ph.D.