Wayne's Corner

6-24-20 Memo: COVID-19 Marlboro School Schedule

Note from Wayne 6-12-20

What an end to our school year! I want to start off by thanking everyone for all that you did during this time; teachers who in just a few days created distance learning plans, families who in a few hours became their child’s teacher, the School Board who met every week and helped solve challenges and for listening, the Academic Support Team for their creative flexibility connecting with students. Gail and Aaron for keeping the building intact and keeping the school “lights on”, Chef Emily for feeding 86 children breakfast & lunch every school day and the bus drivers who jumped into their personal vehicles to deliver meals. What a team effort.

As I write this note, our school community is planning for next year. There are a few details that still need to be worked out, but it is my intent to share with you the (1) weekly schedule, (2) safety protocols and (3) changes to our programming by next Friday, June 19th. The first public draft will be presented at the School Board Meeting next Thursday, June 18th, at 6:00. Zoom will be provided for this meeting, so please attend and share your opinions.

A big shout out to South El and Liz. Please take the time to vote here for our school mascot and school colors. Results from the voting will be shared at the Board Meeting next Thursday and shared community-wide on June 19th. Additionally, please check out the latest addition of the Marlboro School Chronicle.

And a final fun note, I will be running/hiking the Long Trail during July to raise funds for:

  • Providing staff and students with a Marlboro School t-shirt on the first day of school next fall. They will have our new mascot and be our new school colors.
  • Purchasing a new flagpole to fly a Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ+ flags starting next school year.
  • Providing funds for field research that focuses on making connections and fostering relationships with other local or distance communities.

This fundraiser is sponsored by AMP (Association of Marlboro Parents) and I hope to raise $5000. If you would like to participate in this fundraiser please follow this link to pledge an amount for each mile I complete. Barring an injury, I can guarantee 100 miles and plan to run/hike the 272 miles. Thank you for your support.


Memo: Stronger Together

6/7/20

Dear Marlboro School Community,

The past few weeks have highlighted the hundreds of years of pervasive injustice and inequity in our society. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless other black individuals, both known and invisible, have been in my deep thoughts along with their families.

As a dad I think about what it would be like if my child was murdered, or if I were harmed by the people we pay to protect us, what it would mean to my family. As a principal, I feel a renewed sense of responsibility to send our students into the world as anti-racist citizens.

I acknowledge that the conversations, the collective heightened emotional response, the actions, protests, petitions and more are a loud reminder that we need change. I am energized to pursue the right future for ourselves and the generations that follow. I will work for a future based on knowledge, understanding, equity, compassion and love. A future that puts all perspectives at the center instead of perpetuating the white biases found in textbooks, which for too long have been uncontested.

For example, in science students read about the accomplishments of men like Albert Einstein. In history, kids learn about Civil Rights, the American Revolution, and the colonization of the United States in terms of how it affected white people. All disciplines and curriculum need to include the perspective of non-white people. Our students, who are majority white children, should have an opportunity to recognize how racism persists today, unpack their experience, and be vulnerable in a safe environment.

I stand by the groups working to bring equity to our communities like Black Lives Matter, The Root Social Justice Center, Collaborative Educational Services in Northampton, the Marlboro School Board, our educators and, in particular, our outstanding student body that demands a better future.

The education system has work to do. The teachers at Marlboro School continue to demonstrate an alternative to mainstream thinking. Our community is well positioned to lead this long overdue change because of our Board, teachers and families like you. I believe we can do it.

I am committing to the following:

  • Owning that my actions don’t always equal my intent.
  • Listening.
  • Collectively expanding our curriculum to include diverse content and perspectives.
  • Actively seeking professional development to increase my knowledge of black communities and unpack my implicit biases.
  • Supporting field research that creates authentic connections with other communities to increase understanding of our diverse society.

As Nelson Mandela once said, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Please join me in making Marlboro School an educational institution committed to breaking down racial injustices and building a just future for Black children.


Sincerely,

Wayne

Marlboro School Principal

wkermenski@marlboroschool.net