For the last two days, Mr. Mack, Ms. Scott and I were out of the building attending Courageous Conversation: Beyond Diversity with other DCPS employees at Phelps. Through readings, conversation and activities, we explored race and racism and how each impacts the culture and climate of schools. The first day, we focused on personalizing race: our personal stories, race in our lives and the social construction of race and racial knowledge. On day two, our focus was examining whiteness, and we discussed characteristics of white culture, systemic racism and affirmative action. Discussions with the Academic Leadership Team around eliminating racial achievement disparities prompted us to attend this seminar, and this weekend, the three of us are reflecting on how to share a similar experience with staff. It was powerful and emotional experience for all participants, and we left energized and excited about using this learning to benefit students. If you would like to discuss further or have questions, please feel free to reach out to me, Ms. Scott or Mr. Mack. Learn more about Glenn Singleton’s organization, Courageous Conversation, here.
Next week, the learning continues as four staff members attend full day Responsive Classroom trainings. We also have the Central Office Specialist for Social Emotional Academic Development who is assigned to our cluster coming to observe recess with me and brainstorm strategies for structuring it more effectively. We continue to work on improving school culture with the objective of having every student feel loved at school.
Winter Break is rapidly approaching, and we look forward to sending families off to vacation with good cheer at our Winter Concert! Please see the information that follows my letter for more information, but the concert will take place on Thursday, December 19th at 6:30 pm. Ms. Pereira and our students have been working hard across all grade levels, and I am sure we are in for a fantastic celebration. I look forward to seeing you there.
And please check the Lost and Found as we have countless items there, and we will need to donate remaining items over Winter Break.