As students, parents and employees head into a well-deserved Thanksgiving break, I want to thank and commend everyone on the way you’ve remained focused on the important work of teaching and learning, especially in the days following the November 8 election.
The election brought great news for us locally and statewide as voters expressed strong support for schools. At the national level, we face a time of transition and a degree of uncertainty. What remains certain in our schools is that we will stay focused on serving every student, every day. Much more than a slogan, this guiding principle expresses the importance that we place on diversity and inclusivity, whether we’re talking about color, culture, language, race, religion or gender preference and identity.
In our classrooms, students from families who receive government assistance learn alongside students whose parents are millionaires. We welcome and serve all students who walk through our doors, regardless of their station in life, and we do our best to meet each student’s unique needs.
Some of our students have expressed concern about how immigration status might affect them, their families and their friends. I would like to reassure these students and their families that we will not deny services, and we will not participate in enforcement actions, based upon immigration status. That is not our role. In fact, our counselors and other staff at our schools stand ready to assist any child who is worried about any aspect of their future. We are here to support you, and we will not abandon you.
The lesson of Thanksgiving is a timeless one that we still teach in our schools. A small ship carried an assortment of passengers who sought a new home where they could freely practice their faith and pursue the promise of prosperity in the New World. For these newly arrived immigrants, the successful fall harvest was cause for celebration.
Similarly, students of all backgrounds arrived in our schools and achieved great successes this fall after much hard work and perseverance. We should pause to celebrate, share a kind word with one another, and cherish all that we have to be thankful for.
With deep appreciation,
Christopher J. Steinhauser
Superintendent of Schools