A message from Superintendent Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.
Dear Board Members,
This week marks the second week of our second quarter. During this week we have continued to wrestle with the ongoing pandemics of COVID-19 and social/racial injustice, as well as the social-emotional and mental health impact of these stressors on our community. These challenges continue pushing us to engage in deeper strategic thinking, collaboration, and co-creation around our policies and practices.
We returned to full-time in-person instruction this fall in the midst of a global health pandemic, which has been accompanied by social unrest due to ongoing instances of racial and social injustice. The social-emotional and mental health trauma from these current, historical, and multi-generational challenges have profoundly impacted our community, nation, and schools. As such, despite the good decisions being made every day by over 98 percent of our students, a small number do make ill-advised choices. Our efforts to ensure high-quality learning environments, therefore, are involving a wider circle of student, parent, staff, and community voices to collaboratively and co-creatively refine our systems, practices, and supports.
As we lean forward in addressing the global health pandemic, we continue to be guided by the insights of our public health and medical advisors. They have consistently pointed to vaccinations as a key component of our mitigation strategies. Therefore, we are working with public health and other entities to make information about vaccine opportunities readily available, while eliminating barriers to receiving vaccination. Although we can take pride in the 82 percent of our staff who have already provided evidence of vaccination, which exceeds our county’s, state’s, and nation’s rates, more work remains before we can be satisfied.
During this week, we continue to be inspired by our students, parents, staff, and community members who are bringing advocacy, passion, and the spirit of co-creation into strategic conversations. We are energized by our students lifting their voices in leadership, our staff collaborating on instructional and co-curricular planning, our parents volunteering their valuable time, and our community members making us aware of important resources. These collective insights and efforts will serve as the fuel needed to ensure all our learning spaces are places where students, staff, and families can thrive.
As we embrace the opportunities and challenges of this second quarter, I would like to thank you for your continued support and partnership. We look forward to providing you with more updates on our district’s progress next week.
Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.