Community Letter 6-24-20
Dear Montgomery Community,
On behalf of the faculty, staff and administration of the Montgomery Township School District, I wanted to reach out and address the feelings of pain and anxiety that many of us in the Montgomery community are feeling at this time. As we watch national and local events unfold through the news and social media, it is a stark reality that we are living through a pandemic of both a virus and racism. Racism, and the very real feelings of unrest, are at the forefront of public consciousness. Regardless of political affiliation or race, we must have empathy and not stand for any type of inequality or injustice. We have heard the outcry from students, present and past, community members and staff. We thank you for sharing your insights, ideas and experiences. We appreciate you and your desire to make MTSD a better place.
At the heart of the educators in this community, there is love. Love of this community, this district, and all the students with whom we have the privilege of working with on a daily basis. We realize we are at a pivotal point in our country’s history. We need to understand this moment and we need to define our role as educators in dealing with racial injustice. We have an obligation to support our students, our community and each other. While we don’t have all the answers, we will commit to being the agents of change to create a community of empathy, equity and inclusion. We commit to:
- Rejecting the racial and ethnic injustice that is present in our culture.
- Providing education about the bias and prejudice that permeates our culture.
- Instructional practices that equip all children to be able to disrupt and dismantle injustices and inequality.
- Listening and learning from each other, fostering open dialogue between all, and building long lasting, supportive relationships with one another.
- Empowering students to voice their experiences and concerns in a safe environment.
- Speaking out against systemic racism in all of its forms.
- Encouraging all students to reach the greatest opportunities that our schools can provide.
Change is not something that happens overnight; we believe that together we can move our district and community forward. Over the past few weeks, the district has taken the following initial steps to move forward with these issues:
- We have listened to community members at a community forum and BOE meeting.
- We have established a District Culture for Change Committee.
- Administrators received training on the topic of racial injustice.
- Two Black Parent Groups (K-6 and 7-12) are being formed to foster communication and growth.
- MHS staff are forming an Empathy, Equity and Inclusion committee.
- MHS principal has formed a Teachers of Color group that will meet regularly.
- Principals have addressed their staff on the issue of racial injustice and civil unrest.
- Administrators have met with students to hear concerns and suggestions.
- Supervisors have begun to review and analyze curricula as they relate to race and injustice.
As a Montgomery family, we know many of you are hurting. We are a resilient community, and we will continue to work together to create change and grow our understanding and acceptance of all who are part of our community.
With love, respect, and compassion, we are here for you.
Mary McLoughlin, Superintendent, on behalf of the MTSD Staff and Administration.