Dear Members of the Fairfield Public Schools Community
Earlier this week I shared with you resources to support you in family conversations about the current national demonstrations against racism and police violence. I also wrote, “As parents and as educators, we put our faith and skills towards the improvement of the human mind to learn, to adapt, and to change for the better and for the good. Let us work and pray that true change comes soon as there is desperation in our streets. Our work is always towards a better future.”
In reflecting on that message, I failed to express my personal anger, shame, and fear about the long history of racism in our country. I failed to address the greater issues that confront our school system and how I, as Superintendent of Schools, can truly lead us to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.
To that end let me commit the Fairfield Public Schools to examine our own policies, practices, beliefs, and actions so that we can become aware of the hurt we may cause students, staff, and the community, when we are unmindful of our own inherent biases. We commit to raising staff awareness of those biases because they stand in the way of the fulfillment of our district mission, “to ensure that every student acquires the knowledge and skills needed to be a lifelong learner, responsible citizen, and successful participant in an ever-changing global society through a comprehensive educational program.” If we are not aware of our own beliefs and actively work to eliminate our prejudices then we cannot truly educate every child.
We commit to being anti-racist in our expectations and actions.
We commit to being part of a community dialogue that confronts the issues that drive us apart so that we may heal as one.
We commit, above all, to listening, to fully investigating, and to addressing, allegations of racist behavior, actions, policies, or practices, in our school system.
To this end we will begin this summer to
- Develop an outreach program to welcome students of color, and their families, into the Fairfield Public Schools
- Examine our curriculum, resources, and materials to ensure that they represent our entire community
- Continue the training of staff in conducting unbiased investigations of allegations of racist behavior
- Confront our own past failings to identify other means of improvement.
Thank you for reading and I look forward to further conversation, and action.
Superintendent of Schools
Fairfield Public Schools