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New Superintendent Monday Message, 3/22/21

3/22/21

 

Dear Parents

 

On June 8, 2020, the Hudson Board of Education approved a Resolution Condemning Racism. The resolution states in part “Now Therefore, Be it Resolved by the Board of Education of the Hudson City School District that the Board recognizes that racism is a crisis affecting our entire society; and the Board condemns racism and reiterates its rejection of racist and other hateful behavior and language…”

 

The Board also directed the district and its leadership to “continue to progress as an equity oriented organization by continuing to identify actions, not just words, to further enhance diversity and ensure anti-racism in education.”

 

  1. Today, we are extremely saddened that the cycle of racism continues to escalate as we are witnessing “coronavirus racism” against individuals who are Chinese, those of Asian decent, and Asian Americans through xenophobic, racist, anti-Asian hate speech, violent behavior, and hate crimes resulting in Asian deaths in our nation.

 

We know that these racist behaviors are damaging to both adults and children when certain students or a segment of our community and society feel especially vulnerable. Our Asian students and staff have expressed how these events lead to feelings of vulnerability including questions such as:  “Are we safe?”,  "Is something going to happen to me?", “Is something going to happen to my family?”, and "How does my community feel about this?"

 

Please take a moment to read these reminders from the National Association of School Psychologists and join us in continuing to develop daily practices that prevent racism and provide a school system and community that embraces and celebrates our racial and ethnic differences.

 

  • Racism and bias have no place in our school or community under any circumstance and are not a solution to our fears. The goal when faced with a potential health emergency like COVID-19 is to focus on the steps we can take to reduce spread of the virus, not to cause further, unfounded harm. Lashing out at innocent people around us, or hating them because of their origins, their appearance, their ethnicity, or their choice of dress will not help reduce risk from the virus and will only cause unnecessary harm.

 

  • All people deserve to be treated with fairness, respect, and dignity. America is strong because of its diversity. American democracy is founded on respect for individual differences. Those differences in culture, religion, ideas, ethnicity, and other forms of identity have contributed to the strength and richness of our country.

 

  • We are in this together. People of all ethnicities are affected when an emergency event impacts a community. We need to support each other, comfort each other, and work together during difficult times.

 

Please reach out to any building administrator, guidance counselor, or me if you know of any student or staff member who may need support. I’ve also included links to resources and  strategies to help you speak up if confronted with xenophobia or hate speech of any kind.



Resources and Tips for Parents

 

Countering Coronavirus Stigma and Racism: Tips for Parents and Caregivers  

 

State Department of Education OCR Coronavirus Statement

 

How to Respond to Coronavirus Racism

 

New Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Webpage

 

As we move forward with our district-wide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts, we want to keep parents, staff, and community members informed of the progress of the Cultural Proficiency Advisory Committee and district initiatives. Nyree Wilkerson, our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator, has established a DEI webpage on our website that provides a wealth of information and resources, including the progress of the Cultural Proficiency Advisory Committee, meeting notes, and presentations. In addition, Nyree’s monthly newsletters are posted. These newsletters provide resources for our staff and students. A photo gallery gives visitors a first hand look at some of the programs taking place in our classrooms.  

 

We will continue to share our progress on the DEI webpage and via regular Board of Education meeting updates.   




COVID-19 Update

 

While still a high incidence rate, COVID-19 cases in Summit County last week were 203.7 per 100,000. The cases in the county peaked in December at a rate of 950 per 100,000 and steadily declined to a rate of 184.3 per 100,000 the week of March 11. The graph below shows the number of cases within the Hudson City School student and staff population over the past 13 weeks. 

 

COVID Cases Graph

 

These case rates in the state, county, and our school district are encouraging. At the same time, we will continue to closely monitor case rates as there is the potential to see increases as a result of COVID variants. Throughout our schools we will continue to practice safety protocols including social distancing to the greatest extent possible, wearing masks, washing hands, sanitizing surfaces, and maximizing fresh air circulation. Additionally, warmer temperatures will create opportunities for outdoor learning. 



Spring Break

 

As we approach spring break, if you are traveling, please review and consider the CDC Recommendations for Travel During COVID-19.

 

I wish you a wonderful time with family over spring break, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to any building administrator, guidance counselor, or me if you have any questions or concerns. As we approach the last 9 weeks of the school year, I want to thank you for your continued support and dedication to the success of our students. 

 

Sincerely,



Phil Herman

Superintendent