In case you missed it: This is a copy of the June 7 email (sent via SchoolMessenger) from Principal Montgomery.
Dear Jane Addams Families,
In the next two weeks, as we finish out what has been the most difficult school year for most of us, our educators continue to support students as the world is changing. Even though the school year officially ends in two weeks, we cannot ignore the current conversations happening for racial justice. We know that our students are watching, listening, getting information from social media and talking with their families and each other. We are committed to continuing these conversations as a school, even remotely.
Last week, students talked during their Monday Morning meetings about the killing of George Floyd, Breanna Taylor and Ahmaud Avery. Later that week, students came to counseling office hours and two different sessions of Student Racial Equity Teams. They had so much insight and so many questions.
Our young people are processing the history of our country that has led to the disproportionate negative impacts for our black and African-American communities in wealth, health, police violence, and in education. Jane Addams, as part of Seattle Public Schools, also has steps to take towards true racial justice. This is on our minds, and we know this is on our students minds.
Many students, even at this young age, are processing their own role in this and how best to navigate their futures. As educators we are trying to not shy away from their questions, but dig deep, learn and at the same time support them.
Tomorrow (Monday, June 8) during our Monday Morning Meetings, we will continue to give space for our young people to process our history and recent events. I have included the lesson in this email to encourage family conversation. June 8 Monday Morning Meeting .
Our counselors will continue to devote this week’s Counseling office hours to for our young people to talk. These hours are from 1-3pm on Monday and Wednesday. Students can join these meetings through Schoology.
And again, on Wednesdays, at 4pm, all students are invited to join the Jane Addams Student Racial Equity team to begin to learn and to take action. We had our first session last week and despite a few technology challenges, were able to have a small group. We welcome more students. This group will continue throughout the summer if students would like.
We know that as a community, we can make changes, even remotely.
And we know that our black and African-American students may need a space to process this with other black and African-American students. We are holding sessions on Tuesdays specifically for students of color. Everyone is welcome to come to the Wednesday sessions but we want to make sure that if your student needs an affinity space outside of family, we meet this need. Students are welcome and encouraged to come to both groups. Please contact myself or a grade level counselor if you want your student to have access to the Tuesday group designed for students of color.
Our young people are amazing. As I attended Monday Morning meetings, classes, and connected with students this week, I know that they have the power and the will be the generation that forces all of us to do better. I am honored to be able to work with them.
Paula Montgomery, Principal
Jane Addams Middle School