I wanted to take a moment to recognize that the pandemic has created increased racism, violence and harassment toward Asian Americans. You may have seen this in the news or may have personal experience with this. The recent event in Atlanta further demonstrates this heartbreaking trend. This has affected me personally because I care about Skinner North's AAPI students and families, and because of a racist attack on the Chinese American father of my close friend.
These events reinforce the importance of our belief as a community of the imperative of inclusion, anti-racism and support for one another. This includes actively interrupting any racist, anti-Asian, Asian American, Asian Pacific Islander and xenophobic narratives. These narratives and attacks have a direct effect on the mental health and wellness of our students and families. We stand in support and in solidarity with our students and families who identify as Asian, Asian-American, Asian Pacific Islanders.
We encourage you to talk to students and others about this. Below are some resources to help this or find support. Please reach out to me if you or your family members need support.
To learn more ways to interrupt and respond to Coronavirus racism go to:
Learn More about the Historical Context of Anti-Asian American Racism (Resources Reshared from Diversity Committee Summer Workshops):
Asian Americans and Racial Justice: Historical Context Slides
Problematic Statements and Questions
More Allyship Resources:
Anti-Racism Resources to Support Asian-American, Pacific Islander Community
Suggested Children's Books:
Young, Proud, and Sung-Jee: A Children's Book on Fighting Anti-Asian Racism During Covid-19 (PDF version of the book + helpful caregiver tips at the end)
The Name Jar
A Different Pond
Lailah's Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story
They Called Us Enemy
American Born Chinese
Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh
Resources from the Asian American Psychological Association:
Stop AAPI Hate Reporting: https://stopaapihate.org
Asian Americans Advancing Justice Tracking Hate Stories: https://www.standagainsthatred.org/
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) Hate Crimes Task Force and Pro Bono Legal Resources: https://www.napaba.org/page/HateCrimeResources
Infographics and accompanying videos for helping AAPI families talk to children and teens exposed to anti-Asian bullying and harassment (developed for COVID-19 but also relevant now): https://division45.org/division-45-task-force-on-covid-19-anti-asian-discrimination-and-xenophobia/
Asian American Mental Health Collective directory of APISAA therapists: https://www.asianmhc.org/apisaa
AAPA Division on Practice list of COVID-related mental health resources: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GrseILJlOFiNOzeQT3X3aizokL-M4NvXp7vCP4W-jm8/edit?ts=5e88c7b1
Free bystander intervention training to stop anti-Asian/American and xenophobic harassment: https://www.ihollaback.org/bystanderintervention/
Our Month's Diversity Discussion Topic is Teaching Kids to be allies. Talking about issues of race is important to do with students. These resources help give guidance on this. Thank you to the Diversity Committee for putting together this information.
Teaching Our Kids To Be AlliesMany of us want to be allies to our friends, neighbors, and families who are Black and Brown, but it can be overwhelming to know where to start – and what is an ally anyhow? Explained simply in this article, “An ally is someone who is willing to stand up for what is right and has your back if you’re being treated unfairly because you are different.”
While there’s a whole lot more unpacking about what goes into being an ally on all levels, this is a good place to start for kids. Aim for your book selections to reflect the diversity of our communities and be inclusive of other cultures. When doing arts and crafts, be intentional about the array of skin tone crayons, markers, and construction paper that you make available.
For more ideas about allyship, please check out the links below:
How Kids Can Be Allies
How to Raise Kids to be Allies
What White Children Need to Know about Race
Good morning! Please see below for a few updates. In addition, we have gotten some questions related to travel and COVID like symptoms and school attendance. Please read below for the guidance. We appreciate everyone understanding and following the guidance.
Have a wonderful day,
4th Quarter In Person Opt In - Please remember to complete this survey sent to you by the district. You do not need to complete if your student is already opted into in person learning. If you have not received the survey or are having any issues please call our main office. CPS is also having an Elementary School Town Hall on Tuesday, March 16, from 5-6:30 p.m. You can register HERE. (We will send a survey after this survey closes to ask about pod preferences. We cannot guarantee preferences, but want to try to coordinate with families where possible. Students already assigned pods will remain in those pods.)
LSC Agenda - Please see this link for the agenda for our upcoming LSC meeting, which is on Wednesday, March 17 at 5PM. The virtual link is on the agenda.
Progress Reports - Progress reports will be mailed out by the district starting the 16th.
Staff Lot - The lots west and south of the school are reserved for staff. Please do not use this lot to park or drop of students. Thank you for your assistance in ensuring our students are safe. The lot across from the school or Target's lot is available for parent parking.
Diverse Needs Committee - As some of you may know, we began a new committee last school year called the Diverse Needs Committee. The committee was born out of the desire to bring together families with children who have diverse needs as well as to create a space for school initiatives that focus on students with diverse needs. We have been hibernating some while virtual learning has been underway but we would like to invite any parent and staff member to join us as we meet again.
To get a taste of what has already been accomplished in the committee please visit the NEW website. https://sndiverseneeds.org/
Our next meeting will be: Tuesday, March 23 at 8 am
Google Link: meet.google.com/dnu-ezby-jpf
CPS Travel Guidance - Please see this helpful document for the current travel guidance and CPS policy related to travel.
Sick Policy with COVID-like Symptoms - The following symptoms are considered COVID-like:
Good morning! It has been wonderful welcoming students back into the building over the last week and having some of our 6-8th students back today. We have had some individuals reach out about opting into in person learning for 4th quarter and wanted to make sure everyone saw this information sent out by the district. Please read below for more information.
Have a great day,
Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) - Please see attached for a document with further details to access P-EBT. (We previously sent out information in our newsletter.) P-EBT is a food assistance benefit for students who get free or reduced-price meals in schools under the National School Lunch Program, but – because of the pandemic – the school is not providing meals to the students at school. P-EBT benefits will help Illinois families buy food during the COVID-19 pandemic. The attachment provides further details.
4th Quarter In Person Opt In - Beginning today, all CPS families, who have not yet returned to schools in-person, will be able to opt-in for a return later this year. The opt-in window will be available to students in all grades (grades Pre-K through 12) and will remain open for two weeks. Opt-in forms will be sent directly to parents, and this will be the final opportunity to choose in-person learning this school year.
Just like in our elementary schools, CPS high schools will follow a strict set of health and safety protocols, upon reopening, including required face-coverings and social distancing. Our high schools will also be provided with the air purifiers, hand sanitizer, and enhanced cleaning practices that have allowed CPS to safely reopen our elementary schools for in-person learning.
To give families additional opportunities to learn about our plans and provide input, we are scheduling two virtual parent townhalls — one for elementary and one for high school— in the next two weeks:
We look forward to seeing you at our town halls and thank you for your continued support as we work to provide all students with the high-quality education they deserve, no matter where they are learning.
Janice K. Jackson, EdD LaTanya D. McDade
Chief Executive Officer Chief Education Officer
Chicago Public Schools Chicago Public Schools
From the Desk of