Following Governor Baker's announcement on April 21, all Brookline Public School Buildings will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 School Year.Remote learning will continue until the last day of school on Tuesday, June 23. Learn more.
Hello Coolidge Corner School Families and Friends,
Our community is hurting in so many ways tonight.
First and foremost if I were to be silent and ignore addressing in this communication the acts of racism and discrimination that have pushed so many to speak out, protest, and fight for social justice it would fly in the face of everything I believe and say we stand for when it comes to educational equity for our students at CCS. I may not yet know all the ways to lead a school in anti-racist work and education. I, like us all, am always learning and growing. I stand committed to continuing to dig in, partner, and use my own power and privilege to support our teachers in disrupting and dismantling systems of oppression and supporting our students in working to build a better, more just, peaceful, and equitable society.
As educators, as parents, and as citizens in our communities we can no longer be silent about the things that matter. Below are some links that I have also shared out with our team at CCS to help support conversations with students and each other.
Second, I want to address the lay off notices that our staff received Friday night. These notices were shared with over 35 classroom teachers and specialists at our school including all P.E. and Health teachers, all K-8 World Language teachers, all Enrichment and Challenge Support specialists, our librarian, our literacy coaches, our PreK teachers and paraprofessionals, and all educators regardless of position who have been working in Brookline for less than 4 years. Friday was a tremendously difficult day for our staff.
I am touched by the messages of support I have received and that I know have been shared with our staff. As a team we are rallying around each other and finding ways to support our colleagues whether it is showing up to a virtual P.E. class, communicating with families about the impact of these notices, or sending personal notes of support. The strength, resilience, and compassion that has been shown over the past 72 hours has been extraordinary.
I remain hopeful that the School Committee and Superintendent can work out a budget that brings back most if not all of these positions and people. I am worried about losing really talented educators who are now seeking employment elsewhere while they wait for news. I also know that even if every staff member were to return to their positions there is hurt, damage, and mistrust that needs to be addressed and given space and time to heal. We have a long road ahead of us.
Below are the links to this week’s whole school virtual events. A few notes about this week’s events:
Bedtime stories: I will be shifting from picture books to a novel for the remainder of the year. I will be reading my all time favorite book Tal and his Marvelous Adventures with Noom Zor Noom. It is a magical book written by Paul Fennimore Cooper that was given to me by a brilliant educator when I began my career in Brookline in 2006. She had read it every year to her class and it was passed down to her by her own mentor. Though I have read the story to countless children over my 8 years as a teacher in Brookline I still get choked up at the end. It is a journey story filled with hope and wonder and I think relevant for the time we find ourselves. I hope many of you and your children will join me each night for this story.
Family Forum: This week’s Family Forum will be on Thursday night. As you know I will be at school all day Monday and Tuesday helping connect families with their child(ren)’s belongings. I also want to gather some answers to questions about the budget and educator layoffs prior to connecting broadly with our families and responding to the many questions I am sure you all have.
P.E. Virtual Classes: Please consider coming to this week’s P.E. virtual classes to share your support for our staff. Their commitment to maintaining connections and high quality synchronous options for physical activity and wellness remains unwavering despite the recent news.
I look forward to seeing many of you and some of your children over the next two days at school when you come to pick up materials. As a reminder please make sure you (and/or your child(ren) are wearing a mask as you approach the building, while waiting in line, and while moving away from the building. We want to make sure everyone is safe throughout this process of moving 900+ people to and around our building over the next two days.
In a time when we are hurting and starving for connection and compassion, it will be wonderful to see you in person and share a warm comforting smile, even behind a mask.