Category : Governing Board
Letter from Board President Greenberg and Dr. Welsh
Monday , June 08 , 2020
Dear PVSchools students, families, staff and community:
We talk often about how we are the PVSchools family. As a family, we work together and learn together. We care about each other and lift each other up. We extend that caring into the greater community that surrounds us. It is because of that caring that the death of George Floyd – and too many before him – has reverberated in our community. It is because of these events, we feel it is important to discuss our beliefs, values and commitment to identify and eliminate inequities in our schools.
Our foundational charge as a school district is to educate, to teach our students so that they master not just their academic subjects but their understanding of their duties and roles as citizens of this state, this country and this world. Those duties include treating others respectfully. We strive to teach our students to be kind, empathetic, understanding, honest, considerate and compassionate. Those are some of the best defenses against racism and injustice. Those are the lessons that will stay with our students long after they leave our schools.
We know that teachers make huge impressions upon their students – and students upon their teachers. Almost 40 years after George Floyd sat in her second grade classroom, his teacher, Waynel Sexton, still has an assignment he completed in response to her asking the class “How will you impact the future? What will you do to make a difference?” Second grader George intended to be a justice of the Supreme Court, a position we know would have been highly impactful.
George Floyd has made a difference in the future and has impacted all of our lives in his death. We have to honor his memory, and those of so many before him, by working unequivocally to break down the barriers of systemic racism in our society wherever it exists, but especially wherever and whenever we find it in our schools.
For many years we have worked to identify and eliminate inequities in our schools, and we are still working, learning and trying. We know much work remains to be done. We support our staff for speaking out against injustice and breaking down those barriers of racism. We have seen the positives that have come from many of those efforts – for example, some of our schools have earned the “No Place for Hate” designation by the Anti-Defamation League. Let us work to become a district that is no place for hate. We have talked about the insidiousness of implicit bias, but we must face the fact that what is “unconscious” must rise to consciousness to be eliminated. We will work together so that no one feels alone in these important efforts to eradicate systemic racism.
We hope all in our PVSchools family will join in these critical, ongoing efforts.
Jesse Welsh, Ed.D.
Governing Board President