This was a letter sent via email on November 9th, 2016.
I wanted to send a quick note to all of you regarding today's final election results. Regardless of your personal choice and regardless of the results of this Presidential election (this is a non-partisan, non-political email), this is what I know:
1. We are a school community that believes climate change is real and is an urgent, ominous threat to the international community.
2. We are a school community that believes in the ever-present role and presence of whiteness and racism, in schools, in the United States and in the world at large.
3. We are a school community who believes that, to paraphrase Glenn Singleton, "everyone is better when everyone is better."
4. We are a school community who believes that true equity is achieved when every single human-- regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, personal beliefs or religion--has exactly what they, individually and collectively, need and deserve in this life.
5. We are a school community that knows that the work of deconstructing both overt and institutionalized racism and injustice is both sacred and never-ending.
6. We are a school community who believe in truth, love, and reconciliation, regardless of context or circumstance.
Families have been in and out of school all day with a range of emotional responses to the Presidential decision. Many children have been following this election very closely in their classrooms--I expect children to have a wide range of questions and a wide range of emotional responses to the election results over the weekend and also on Monday. Please remind them of the list above, add to the list, answer their questions honestly, and support them as they work through their emotions, whatever they may be. I've attached an article with some ideas and advice for how to talk to children who may feel emotional as a result of the election results. The article is geared toward children who may be upset--I am certainly not presuming that ALL children will be upset or that ALL adults connected with our school community are upset. And, as a leader of a community I am making a conscious decision to send this email in response to parent requests today, many of them asking for help supporting their own children. I am looking for other resources for teachers and parents, for example, articles that give ideas and strategies around facilitating productive discourse in a classroom where 1) some students feel emotional and 2) different perspectives need to be held, given space and honored regardless of opinion. This is real for us here at Sunnyside, it will be real for us next week. My belief is that I would be unethical if I didn't communicate this to our beloved parent/family community.
Lastly, as a woman and the mother of a daughter, I want share a quote from Hillary Clinton's concession speech. For me, as a woman and the mother of a son also, while she directs this message to girls I do believe it is essential for all of our students, for our girls, for our boys, for our gender-fluid and gender-neutral students :
"To all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams."
At a ceremony on February 10 at Wilson High School in SW Portland, nine PPS schools were recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for achieving ENERGY STAR certification. To receive this certification, a building must perform in the top 25% of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency, and meet strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA. ENERGY STAR schools use an average of 35% less energy, and also release 35% less carbon dioxide.
Giancarlo Mozzanti, prominent Colombian architect will speak:
Friday February 24, 5:30PM
At the University of Oregon Portland Center
70 NW Couch Street
The proposal, which still requires the approval of the Board of Education, may be reviewed at, www.pps.net/dbrac.
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM Connect to Kindergarten - Informational meeting
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM School Choice - Middle School Informational Meeting
8:00 AM Mid-term Progress Reports