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From Julie Craven

May 29, 2019

Dear RAUC Families, 

I hope your long weekend was lovely. The weather was perfect for cook outs as well as for remembering with gratitude those who died in service of their country. And now we head into the final stretch before summer break. There are many events happening--please note the dates in this newsletter for your calendars. 

I also want to use this newsletter to provide an overview of equity work going on at school. I was prompted to do so by a news event from last Friday. 

You have most likely heard of the incident involving a group of black and brown Boston middle school students on a field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts. They experienced racism and were made to feel unwelcome at the museum. For those of us who are white and work with black and brown students, this incident was a reminder of the exhaustion of living never knowing when you will be unsafe. Our students, families and educators of color don't need that reminder. We are a community and a community proactively checks in with each other and doesn’t just wait until we hear someone is upset about something. In that spirit, avisory teachers have checked in to see what students had or had not heard about this event. They used the SHARE protocol that we have used before when processing events. I am attaching it here as you may find it a useful tool. 

This kind of check in is part of our effort to meet one of our School Improvement Plan goals: “to deepen our capacity as culturally proficient educators and as a culturally responsive institution in order to better meet the needs of our diverse student population.” Feedback from families and School Council has helped me see that families are not aware of all we are doing to move ourselves forward. While I can’t capture the many layers of our work in one newsletter, I can give you an overview: For two years now, we have used readings, videos, and structured conversations to explore concepts such as equity, micro and macro aggressions, and the “4 i’s of racism and oppression”--individual, interpersonal, institutional, and ideological. This year our work was guided by two outside facilitators, Dr. Darnisa Amante of Disruptive Equity Education Project, and Gene Thompson-Groves of School Reform Initiative. Some of the most powerful and productive conversations happened at our two most recent staff meetings when we read and discussed case studies from the book, Case Studies on Diversity and Social Justice in Education by Paul C. Gorski and Seema G. Pothini. A few examples are attached

Moving forward, I will provide periodic updates on this important and ongoing work. Updates will also include invitations for ways that families can be part of planning the direction of our efforts. Please reach out to me or Family Partnership Coordinator Taraneh Ahmadi at any point if you have questions or concerns. Your partnership helps us grow. 

Best,

Julie Craven, Head of School 

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