Newsletter June 25 20206/25/2020
June 25, 2020
Dear Beach Parents and Community,
I hope your family is doing as well as can be this 3rd day into your child’s summer vacation! Thank you for your partnership during our most unexpected end to the 2019-20 school year, and over the course of the whole school year as well. As we plan for the unknowns of next school year, know that I’m committed to and love this school and our community! While this year ended in an unexpected way and next year will begin in an unusual way, our staff will be ready to welcome your child and family into the new school year however it unfolds.
One of the many strengths of our staff is the love we have for our students and school community. We want Beach to be a joyful, inclusive, safe and engaging place for every child, we value partnering with you every step of the way throughout your child’s K-5 experience, and we are committed to facilitating strong learning outcomes and success, with racial equity and social justice at the forefront, for every one of our students. As a white principal, I want you to know I am committed to listening, reflecting, learning, and taking action to interrupt systemic racism, white bias and oppression in our own school and beyond. (Please let me know any thoughts, concerns, questions, etc..) Our staff’s love for our students and community is powerful when we come together as a team with a shared vision. We are committed to listening, reflecting, learning and taking action on behalf of each of your children next year.
Some specific actions we’re planning include
- Deepening and expanding the ways we reach out to, hear and support parents
- Black Family Affinity Group, Topicas Para Hablar, Topic Talk
- Listen closely to students in our circles (or solid rectangles). What are students telling us?
- Black Student Union, GSA (Gay Straight Alliance)
- Figure out new ways to be responsive and flexible in our responses to students
- Utilize Successful Schools Survey data to help us critically examine our practices and school environments. For example: what do our students need and want in order to feel a “sense of belonging” at Beach? What do words such as “sense of belonging”, “safe”, “respectful” mean to our students? To our families?
- Re-launch our “4 Be’s” (Be Kind, Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible) framework through lenses of equity, social emotional learning and needs, cultural relevance, and what it means to be anti-racist
- Evaluate our lessons, resources and practices utilizing a framework for anti-bias education
Some other quick updates for you:
- If you missed our student materials pick-up day last week, we’ll have your child’s paper bag of supplies for them in the fall. Staff (other than custodians) are not permitted to re-enter schools until a date TBA.
- If you saw the messaging from Mr. Ramirez last week about advocating for funding for PE, and/or if you advocated, please know that funding for PE to this year’s levels, as well as adaptive PE, was restored! The current plan is that our students will maintain the same amount of PE they had this year with Coach Ramirez and Ms. Orr.
- Last year’s school supply lists are posted on our website, with the most important items to focus on during summer sales for next year highlighted. Please feel free to hold off on purchasing the other items until we know more. We want to minimize school supply costs for families, but also ensure all students are ready with basic supplies for school and/or home, and don't want you to miss sales in the interim. If your budget is limited, please prioritize a good sturdy backpack big enough to zip around a pocket folder, pencils, markers, folders, and paper (see your particular grade level list for specific kinds of folder and paper requested). We will update the lists with additional needed items when we know what school will look like. Please don’t feel you must prioritize purchasing school supplies over basic needs for your family. We will partner with organizations and fund-raise as necessary to ensure all children have needed supplies next year. If your family is able to double up on supplies to provide them for a family whose resources have been more impacted during the COVID-19 crisis, please do! (Please just let the office know if you purchased an extra set of supplies, and for what grade level.)
- The “Grade Level Benchmarks” insert you received with your child’s report card, with sections called Academic and Social Behaviors, Writing, Reading, and Math, was our staff’s effort to provide you with a visual reference for what we’d hope students at each grade would be able to understand or produce by the end of a regular school year. I want to highlight the “Academic and Social Behaviors” section. Students need to understand those academic and social behaviors, as well as regular academic skills. Often, they need help mastering the academic and social behaviors before they can successfully learn academic skills. If you recognize skills your child needs to learn (which is pretty likely for many if not most students!), helping them practice this summer could have a huge positive impact on their academic learning next year.
If you haven’t yet read Ms. de Boer’s message about supporting children’s social and emotional needs, alongside helping them understand the significance of current events around racial injustice and police brutality (sent via school messenger June 9) please keep scrolling-- we have begun posting our school newsletters in chronological order under this tab. Her message as well as her linked reading/listening and website are amazing resources!
My very best wishes for all kinds of goodness for your family, and our world, this summer.