To Our Senn Community,
Our Senn Administrative Team hopes you are all well and safe right now given the current state of our city and nation. The tragic killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many others that have come before them is something we cannot ignore. The subsequent protests that have taken place this weekend have further shown the absolute need for our community to address the inequities in our society. This need has been apparent to us at Senn for some time and as a community, we strongly believe that Black Lives Matter. We are anxious to continue the many conversations that started prior to the school closure - normally, we would find ways to share our truth and strive for understanding through classroom conversations, community town halls, small group meetings, etc. but, unfortunately, we are not able to do that right now. Teachers will grant students space to discuss how they are feeling during their class time, but we recognize this is not a replacement for the very specific conversations that we can have collectively. We plan to structure those very soon as we enter into the final phases of re-opening.
Until then, Dr. Jackson shared a powerful personal message with parents and students, and we hope that you all take a few minutes to read it. We are all in this together for our students, our city, and our future. At Senn, we, as educators, understand the power that we yield in supporting the voices of our students and how - together- we can create opportunities to dismantle the systems that allow racism to persist. To that end, our approach to this work is through a lens of antiracism. This means that we acknowledge that it is not enough to be “not racist,” but the importance of being “aggressively against racism.” We are actively assessing our systems to ensure they support, recognize, and honor the identities of all Senn students.
To help with these conversations that you are having within your own families, our team has put together some resources that may aid both parents and students to talk about race.
- Say Their Names: A toolkit to help foster productive conversations about race and civil disobedience.
- “How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change - President Obama’s action steps and his toolkit for fair and safe community policing
- Teaching Tolerance provides ready-to-use recommendations and strategies for a trauma-informed approach to teaching through coronavirus. Use and share this site which provides support during this challenging time: https://www.tolerance.org/
- Anti-racist reading list - this is a comprehensive reading list by the Evanston Library that offers reading for all ages. A great resource for parents and students.
Finally, if your family is in need of assistance or you know of a family who could use help during this challenging time, the CPS Hotline can connect them to vital support services. Please encourage the family to contact the CPS Hotline at 773-553-KIDS (5437) or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of us if you have any questions or concerns.
The Senn Administrative Team
Principal Mary Beck
Assistant Principal Timothy Adams
Assistant Principal Carter Carey
Assistant Principal Jennie Medellin