An Open Letter to Our West Powellhurst Community
June 8, 2020
The events over the last couple of weeks have left many people in deep pain and looking for answers. I, for one, have asked myself many times over the last few days what action I need to take in order to become a better informed person to support those that are marginalized and/or treated as “less than”. While I am the principal of an elementary school, I don’t profess to speak on behalf of everyone. That being said, I know our values at West Powellhurst are steeped in love and the support of kids and their families. It has truly broken my heart to see the pain in people that have to fight for basic rights and decent and equitable treatment. We, at West Powellhurst, reject racism and we stand together for our Black community along with every student of color and their families. We are deeply sorry for the trauma felt among many people in our community due to systemic racism.
We have work to do and we stand ready to serve our community. I know our staff at West Powellhurst, and I can say with assurance that we want to continue to learn, to listen, and to do better. We desire the deepened relationships with our community that help us all understand what it means to walk together, side by side, in order to ensure a safe and supportive climate in our schools for all students. Our work needs to continue but we need each other. Our district continues its efforts to get our diverse population of nationalities, races, and ethnicities represented in our school; to see the faces of those we surround ourselves with every day. I want parents and family members to be a part of committees that help shape our school and bring about improvements to our systems. Open dialogue can be uncomfortable for some people but I have encouraged and supported our staff, and myself, to be vulnerable, to lean into the difficult conversations, and to make our school a culturally responsive environment where no student or family member ever feels they need to hide.
I have seen and been a part of actions around the senseless killing of George Floyd; he is only one example of a long list of tragic deaths. I am so proud of those that have stepped up to have their voices heard despite their fears. None of us want to have our silence equated with acceptance and I know for some it is hard to know where to start. So I will start by saying that we won’t stop learning; we won’t ever pretend this change isn’t needed and racism isn’t real. So I ask that you consider working together with our West Powellhurst team in learning together, discussing what concerns you have that are important to your families, and talking and listening together even more than we’ve ever done in the past. I invite you all to attend our Booster meetings and our SUN programs, to be a part of your child’s classroom, to offer your suggestions on how we make our school a better institution, and to never hesitate to contact me when you have a suggestion, a concern, or you just want to talk. We look forward to a world in which our students feel safe, protected, appreciated, and celebrated despite the color of their skin, their gender, their religion, their sexuality, or the origin of their family. I look forward to learning from you and I ask that you walk this path with me.
Principal at West Powellhurst Elementary
We are starting online kindergarten applications. Students who are age 5 on or before September 1 are eligible for enrollment in kindergarten. So if you have, or know of, a child who is 5 or will be 5 before September 1, please register the child soon. We are looking forward to meeting some of our youngest learners.
The link to kindergarten registration is here: Registration and Enrollment
Your child’s teacher has been working hard to create lessons, videos and activities that your child can access online through Google Classroom. Teachers will also connect with your child through Google Classroom, or phone throughout the week to check in on their student’s progress, and offer support if needed. If you need help with signing in, please let your teacher know and they can send you the information you need.
As we move forward please know our number one priority is connection and care for all of our children. It is important that we recognize each family has a different schedule and organizes their day differently, so you need to guide your day. The schedules that are shared provide suggestions or ideas, but you need to make it work for your family. We won’t have all of the answers at first, but we will figure them out.
Your child’s teacher will have office hours throughout the week, so please make sure you are connecting and communicating with them for clarification or support if needed. I recognize that this change is challenging on many levels, and we need to show grace and patience as we embark on this new journey together. Flexibility and partnerships will be the key to our success on this journey!
Additional resources you may find helpful:
- Please remember we have four daily meal sites for our families. And we have four food pantry sites for our community. You can see the locations, times and schedules for all of them here:
- DDSD Website – Family Resources – If you have not already, check out the DDSD’s website and all the resources that are there for families.