Summary:

Dear WPS Students,

Welcome back to another school year! We have missed all of you. We are so glad to have you back.

These last six months have been challenging in many ways. We have all had to adjust to new expectations - from wearing masks daily to protect ourselves and others, to limited outings with those we love dearly. This summer, in addition to the pandemic, we witnessed the Black Lives Matter movement propelled to the national scene following the violent deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Jacob Blake. Many of you practiced activism by being a part of protests here in Wellesley, and elsewhere.

As you showed up for classes this week, we are curious:

During your time away from school, what things most concerned you?

If you could change anything about what is happening in our city/state/country right now, what would it be?”

We’d love to hear your reflections about the summer. Please share them here. We heard from many of your peers this summer when we hosted a forum for current and former students called “Where Do We Go From Here?” This forum aimed to discuss the ways that the WPS can address matters of race and racism more prominently in our schools. We also heard from many students via the Wake Up Wellesley forums and via the Black@Wellesley Instagram account. Student voices are integral to our efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion. The experiences of our students should guide our path in this work.

This school year, we will use this newsletter as a way to communicate with you, and keep you updated about the initiatives of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. One of the ideas we wish to explore this year is an advisory council for DE&I, comprising students in grades 7-12. You can read more about this idea here. If you are interested in this opportunity, please complete this form so that we may contact you. We also want to make you aware of our commitment to preventing bias-based incidents in our school communities. A bias incident is any conduct, speech or expression that has an impact, but may not involve criminal action, but demonstrates conscious or unconscious bias that targets individuals or groups that are part of a federally protected class (ie. race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, or disability). We need your help! Your school leaders will be working with you this year on how to be proactive about preventing bias incidents, and how to report them should they occur.

We wish you a successful school year, one in which you experience an enduring sense of belonging in your school community - and fight for it for others - and have countless opportunities to flourish in your gifts and talents.

Best wishes,

Dr. Charmie Curry, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion


---
Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
781-446-6210 ;5827 • dei@wellesleyps.org

Documents:

Submitted: Oct 18, 2020