Black Lives Matter at Arbor Heights
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Arbor Heights is committed to supporting our educators, students, and their families as we seek to understand the lived experiences of our Black students, families, and the greater community. We acknowledge that we have significant work to fulfill our commitment to diverse and inclusive communities — to ensure that every child, especially our Black and students of color, feel welcome and have a voice. Our top goal is to create a school environment where everyone feels their culture and language are honored and has equitable learning opportunities.
Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action is a time set aside to affirm all-Black identities by centering Black voices, empowering students, and teaching about Black experiences beyond slavery. The lessons emphasize social justice and ethnic studies, and our work includes:
- Educating our students by providing developmentally appropriate books, podcasts, and movie suggestions for our students.
- Preparing for facilitated conversations for students and staff that explicitly support cultural competency within our everyday lessons.
- Providing resources for faculty and staff so they are better equipped to lead difficult but vital discussions about diversity, equity, and inclusion and handle unexpected situations or comments that may arise in class.
- Organizing opportunities for listening, such as small-group virtual discussions for BIPOC students, staff, parents, and community members facilitated by our PTSA.
- Working to ensure we diversify our school team by participating in Racial Equity hiring training and hiring a highly qualified and diverse workforce.
- Examining our curriculum to ensure it accurately represents the experiences and contributions of the BIPOC community. Investing in culturally appropriate and diverse texts to share with students.
- Ensuring that all Arbor Heights constituents know how to confidently and safely report racism incidents at your school.
We must continue our work to ensure that we reach our aspirations of closing opportunity and achievement gaps for our students of color and other marginalized groups. We celebrate our diversity and provide the necessary resources and support to eliminate barriers and disproportionalities. All students will leave us with the knowledge and skills required to become contributing citizens in our diverse society. We want our students to become change agents who will work to end systemic racism. This urgent work starts with each of us. Arbor Heights school and community can lead if each of us commits to examining personal bias, speaking out against social injustices, and standing up for and learning from others who do not look like us. We must continue eliminating behaviors, policies, practices, and procedures that perpetuate systemic racism.
As a school, we must ensure we are doing our part to foster empathy and kindness. Our school must provide diverse spaces where our students can learn acceptance and belonging. Our Black students deserve better.
We ask for your support of our school as we begin a week of lessons specific to teaching tolerance and curriculum focused on Black Lives Matter Week at School. As a school, we stand for justice, peace, and an end to racism.
We stand in solidarity with our Black families and affirm their lives’ absolute value — Black lives matter. We see you, hear you, and support you. We will continue to champion all students as one team.
With you in service,
The Arbor Heights Elementary community