Message from the Superintendent

 

May 15, 2015

Dear Colleagues:

Do students, parents, staff, or members of our community feel welcome in our presence? 

With the incredible events happening nationally towards people of color in our country, do we understand how these profound events and the related issues are impacting persons of color with whom we interact every day?

Every individual deserves to be able to speak and enjoy freedoms and liberty without a fear that anyone will violate them based on the color of their skin.  Do people of color feel the same level of safety and respect?

Are we mindful of the words we use, the activities we promote, the lessons we teach and the values we model in how we interact with people?

Do we take the time to listen to each person and appreciate each of our different experiences, which have shaped or influenced our views?  The experiences which shaped our views may not be the experiences others have lived. 

When we experience anger, are we defensive or can we look beyond our own reactions and see the reasons behind one’s anger? 

If I am a student or staff at school and I don’t feel safe in my skin, how am I supposed to just let all of that go and be constructively engaged?

Whether we are conscious of the answers to these questions or not, the people we work with every day experience our answers.  Until and unless each of us is willing to pause and reflect on these and moreover take a thoughtful look in the mirror at our own words and actions in the presence of others, nothing significant or meaningful will change.

“Each Student Learning, Every Day!” isn’t just a district slogan.  It is a commitment to seeing and listening to each person and addressing any systems challenges that are presenting barriers, including our own blind spots or biases that can impact what other people experience.  We have the best of intentions; do the experiences of others match with what we are intending and what is our impact?

Sometimes the first step is a realization that we don’t know what we need to know to connect effectively with another person, and then, perhaps we offer and accept the grace necessary with that person to be able to seek to understand before we insist on being understood.

I am just one person on this journey.  I wish I had all the answers, I don’t.  Still, we best effectively answer these questions, first on our own and then together…. The fate and future of our collective self as a country depends on how well we do with the questions awaiting our answers and action. 

Do students, parents, staff, or members of our community feel welcome in our presence? 

The answer starts within each of us

Sincerely,
 
Nick

 

 


 
Last Modified on May 15, 2015