Below are important messages to the Brent Community from Norah Lycknell and the PTA/ Diversity Working Group. Also included is the link to register to participate in one of Brent’s upcoming student listening sessions.
A Message from Norah Lycknell
Dear Brent Community,
I so wish circumstances would allow me to stand in front of each of you, face-to-face and maybe even less than six feet apart, and ask, “how are you?” Even so, please know I am wondering about and thinking of you – and I would welcome anyone who wants to write an email or ask for a phone call/zoom to share.
You might also be asking “how is the Brent faculty?” and “how is the Brent faculty using the three weeks originally scheduled for students?” Of course, I cannot speak on behalf of every individual but I can, at least partially, reflect our collective experiences. We spent the first week of professional development engaged in a challenging and honest dialogue about our faculty and school culture, a first step in embracing and shaping a proactively anti-racist school. This week and next we are engaging in formal professional development to enhance those practices and to strengthen a trauma-responsive environment; reflecting on and naming the anti-racist, broad instructional and social emotional, and distance learning work in our grade-level and content teams; and participating in responsive and comprehensive long-term planning to move toward explicit action. Within this context, individuals are also pursuing their own learning though book groups, inquiry groups, external professional development, and powerful informal conversation. We are missing this time with students but know that their experience depends on our own growth.
Brent families are an important part of our growth and there are and will continue to be many ways to engage in our community’s path forward. Within this email, you will find a statement of purpose from our parent leaders and an opportunity to sign up for student listening sessions. Throughout the summer, we will deviate from our past pauses in communication and will instead continue with weekly or biweekly emails as a way of making our progress and opportunities to contribute more visible. Let us know if you have any suggestions as how to best reach foster this communication. We are only an email or phone call away and now, more than ever, we are in this together.
A Message from Brent's PTA and Diversity Working Group
Dear Brent Community,
We have struggled to find the words to address the unspeakable tragedies, inequality and violence that have taken place across our country in recent weeks but have plagued the Black community for generations.
We felt compelled to address our families to let you know that the Brent Elementary PTA, Diversity Working Group (DWG), and all our parent leadership groups, stand with the Black community and against racism in all its forms. We know that this is a difficult time for our country, our city, and many of our families, but we are here and committed to navigate this moment together. As we reflect on this weekend's peaceful demonstrations we feel hope in how powerful we can be when we come together. We have a lot of work to do to fight for racial justice and equality, but know that we have no intentions of standing on the sidelines. We can't rely solely on communities of color to advocate for communities of color, it's imperative that we protect, support and fight this fight together.
As we shape our plans for the coming school year we intend to address racism and social justice in a more formal way as part of our community meetings. Please be sure to let us know if you have thoughts or questions on content you would like to see addressed so that we can ensure we are addressing the thoughts and concerns of our community.
In the meantime, the DWG took the time to compile a list of resources that may help you navigate conversations with your children found here. Lastly, if you missed Saturday's Sesame Street/CNN Town Hall you and your family can watch it here. "Not every Street is like Sesame Street" a great lesson on 'Standing Up' from our furry friends.
We are grateful to be part of such a diverse community, in all shapes and forms, and more now than ever we need to be here for each other.
Stay Healthy and Love Each Other.
Your Brent Elementary PTA and Diversity Working Group (DWG)