Each school year is a fresh start and as always we are excited to begin this new year. However, the entire administrative team of the Franklin Public Schools would be remiss if we did not share how recent events have caused us to reflect on acts of intolerance across the nation and within our community. We watched in horror as the events of Charlottesville, Virginia unfolded. Despite our greatest efforts to be inclusive, we are not immune to incidents of hate and bias. As former Superintendent Sabolinski stated in her June letter to the community, there was graffiti depicting swastikas at the three school complexes over the course of last year. These painful incidents are an affront to our core values and have caused us to take pause and engage in discussion about the culture we want in our schools. Our overarching goal is to ensure that each child and family is welcomed and safe in our schools. To that end we will be taking actions throughout this school year to meet this goal.
The Franklin Public Schools has been resolute in its enduring commitment to inclusive schools. Our Core Values speak to respecting the Dignity and Diversity of all individuals and cultures. This belief serves as a pillar of strong school climates and the foundation upon which we build a comprehensive educational experience for each student. We will not tolerate, accept or condone acts or speech that are hateful, racist, anti-semitic, xenophobic, homophobic, or gender-biased. We are, as a community, simply better than that.
In the coming school year, our schools will be engaging students in learning experiences that reinforce and promote acceptance and respect. lnclusivity will be a focus of our school and district goals, as reflected in the school and district improvement plans. Our pre-school and the elementary schools will address these issues through age-appropriate discussions and learning experiences through Responsive Classroom practices. The middle schools will be implementing A World of Difference program which promotes respect, acceptance, and inclusivity. The high school and middle schools will engage students in advisory lessons (and through the curriculum, where appropriate) that focus on topics such as the impact of hate, intolerance, bigotry, anti-semitism, and racism.
We invite parents to join us in our effort to eradicate hate from our school community and encourage you to talk with your children about the contents of this letter. Some helpful resources are as follows:
Franklin is a strong community. With your help, we can collectively nurture a learning environment where each child and family feels valued, safe, and respected.
(view the signatures of Superintendent Sara E Ahern, members of the Central Office and all the principals in the PDF copy below)
|Franklin High School|