October 23, 2020
A message from Superintendent of Schools Dr. A. Katrise Perera
’Tis the season or shall I just say 2020?! Election day is Tuesday, November 3, and all of us are awaiting the outcome. The time leading up to election day is always emotional and filled with anxiety. No matter who wins, the days after the election will leave some celebrating, while others will be fairly disappointed. Some will feel isolated, angry, and may outwardly express their dislike of the results. As a community, I believe it is important for all of us to pause, be aware, and reflect on the impact the election could have on our students.
We all want our national leaders to serve as role models when it comes to civil discourse, conflict resolution, or collaborative problem-solving, but we haven’t always seen that. Over the past year, the mean spirited campaign ads, 24/7 news reporting every single nuance, the bizarre weather patterns, the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the unprecedented remote learning format, and the general concerns for the future of this country have created stress and anxiety. November 4th cannot come fast enough for me - so that I do not have to watch another campaign ad or read another election post.
Regardless of our struggles, we know that our past is not our future and together we can do better. I encourage us to use the coming days leading up to the election as a time to help our students learn how they can use their voices to hold elected officials accountable. Voting is only the beginning.
As adults, we are all obligated to take the lead in seeking effective ways to help our students understand the issues and how the government serves the people. To help them become good stewards of protecting the best ideals of this great country - no matter who may sit in the presidential chair.
As we witness with our students this historic moment in time, we are encouraging each teacher to center any necessary conversations on the election process, the importance of resolving differences or conflicts, the process of civil discourse - as well as, focusing on how we can best agree and find commonalities rather than where we disagree. All dialogues must begin and end with mutual respect for each other. Each student needs to feel safe, seen, heard, and supported. We must serve as role models, and strive to treat others with respect and kindness. Our students are watching.
Thank you for all you do each day for our students. By working TOGETHER WE CAN provide them with the safe, supportive learning environment they need to feel INSPIRED, EMPOWERED, and to THRIVE.
Yours in education,
Dr. A. K. Perera
Superintendent of Schools