December 4, 2019
As you know, last year at Birch Meadow School, we had incidents of hate speech in our building. While the intention of the speech may not have been to cause harm, the impact of such speech is harmful to members of our community and the larger world. As a staff we discussed what it means to be a welcoming, equitable community and did some staff meeting work on identity and bias. The PTO offered two workshops on talking with your children about race and the development of bias.
This year, at Birch Meadow School, we have School Improvement Plan goals related to equity and anti-bias work. These two goals are:
With the goal of creating a teaching and learning environment that is more culturally responsive, we will increase staff awareness of how our own identities impact instructional decisions, selection of programs and materials, and class environments.
With the goal of creating a school community in which issues of race, equity, and bias are discussed safely and effectively we will provide opportunities and training for community members (families, School Committee members, educators) to have conversations about racial identity, anti-bias, and equity.
As we continue this anti-bias and equity work, your child may come home and talk about some of the conversations about race and equity they are having at school. You may want to engage your child in these conversations at home. Talks about race, equity, and inclusion are hard for all of us. Below are some resources that will help you in these conversations with your children.
-Julia Hendrix, Principal
Table Talk: Family Conversation about Current Events from the Anti-Defamation League
Windows and Mirrors: Click here to go the the New England Independent Booksellers Association website with their Windows and Mirrors 2019 book list. These books are selected for their depictions of characters and stories that represent a range of cultures and ethnicities.