Since we last “talked” on Thursday, the Brent team has been busy!
We’ve heard from some families about the depth of their grief, not necessarily a critique of the Mayor’s decision to go virtual for the first term but rather a recognition of the loss and unique stresses it reflects. Even as we focus on planning a year worthy of our responsibility to students, we share that grief.
We heard from some of our faculty that this is not the form of teaching and learning that they imagined when dedicating their lives to education. They are grappling with ways to build relationships, plan for engaging instruction, and conduct assessments to make sure we see, track and respond to individual needs. No matter their disappointment, it is evident that our faculty is committed to the innovation required to serve our students.
We’ve launched our Becoming an Antiracist School and Community Working Group, a faculty initiative, and continued the dialogue among the Diversity Working Group, to begin the hard and sustained work of identifying the systemic and structural foundations of inequity and to reshape those systems toward equity. With virtual learning, we are rebuilding school and will do so in way that reflects our burgeoning Antiracist identity.
We’ve heard more and more from DCPS, primarily as part of the annual (but this year virtual) Summer Leadership Institute, clarifying expectations and supports around scheduling, learning platforms, instructional planning, trauma-informed social emotional practices. This information has allowed us to deepen our school-based planning process, contextualizing what each of these things will mean for the Brent community and updating our “progress so far” and “next steps” chart first published on Thursday.
In most cases and functions, we are focused on Term 1. That focus will allow us to invest in the period of time that we know will be virtual and will allow us to reflect and revise in future terms.
Our next family communications will be a Community Meeting on August 12th from 8-9 p.m. and the Summer Mailing, which will be postmarked and posted on our website by August 10th.
As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions or ideas. Your thoughts often help to push our planning in an even more productive direction.