April 17, 2017
Dear Albany Community,
We need to stick together when things get tough. Recent conflicts, both local and global, remind us that our students deserve a safe and healthy school climate. We want to encourage them to be upstanders, not bystanders, to be empathetic instead if apathetic, and to be responsible global citizens who know how to make the world a better place.
This means empowering people with the tools to engage in difficult conversations about racism, harassment, and bigotry. This means emphasizing reconciliation and restorative justice, and strengthening our beliefs that diversity is welcome and everyone matters.
So, as we return from Spring break, three new strategies will be in place.
- The District will open a new anonymous tip line so anyone can report issues that need immediate attention.
- Albany High will engage in a school-wide ‘expected behaviors campaign,’ with administrators visiting every classroom to outline what will and will not be tolerated.
- The District will begin a community-wide engagement process to gather everyone’s input on how we can all improve. (Many thanks to Albany Middle and Cornell Elementary for blazing this trail.)
The District needs a small, yet powerful group of community members to lead. This team will plan for and coordinate a series of engagement meetings, gathering ideas on a wide variety of topics, and then articulating a set of recommendations to staff and the school board. They will monitor implementation and report back periodically on what’s working and what’s not working. Please look forward to upcoming announcements with more details.
We have much work to do, but I am confident that together, we can create a school community that values diversity, respect, compassion, empathy, and inclusion.