End of Year Message from Dr. Casey, TCS Principal
Greetings to The Center School Community,
When I started reflecting on the 2019-2020 school year in early
2020, my primary thoughts centered around recruitment and school enrollment for 2020-2021; scheduling 2nd teacher observations; gathering student data on attendance an
d student engagement and performance in classrooms; finding resources and strategies in improving student learning; supporting staff mini-grants and keeping an open-mind on the pulse of all things TCS. In an instant that idealism of school planning descended into a surrealism of a medical pandemic with emergency school closures and protests profiling a systemic and historical legacy of racism precipitated by the murder of George Floyd handcuffed and gasping for air as he called for his Mother and reiterated to the four police officers "I can't breathe". George Floyd died within nine minutes with his face planted in the concrete granules of a public roadway next to a police car.
Within days, the lethal pandemic crisis both medical and social intersected into proactive social activism and a societal decry of injustice, racial inequity and a public redress of the historical lineage and police actions disproportionately taking the lives and silencing the voices of African Americans due to systemic racism. The ongoing racism that continues to deepen the divide between our social and emotional consciousness is its own exposure of a raw nerve of social complicity and generalized acceptance in terms of race. I have been watching the news on multiple channels trying to breathe through the latest degradation and silencing of black lives. The protests are the exhaling of a collective angst, a primal ancestral scream of ongoing racism rooted in our historical American legacy.
We have to find a way to breathe within and beyond the protests. It is within our breathes that we exact change and pass on a legacy of a new normal in the American Dream inclusive of all Americans for the current and next generations. I ask everyone in our TCS community to pause, reflect and breathe. Breathe in new activism, new social and political reform on racial equity and access, renewed commitment to anti-racist reform, and an active participation to closing the opportunity gap that has historically marginalized African American males and students of color, in all school communities and within the totality of American society. Breathe in the possibilities of a new dream that reflects racial solidarity and systemic inclusion in the constructs of America's consciousness in all of our actions.
Yes, there will be protests in Seattle and globally in creating a new norm of systemic racial equity and inclusion in the fabric of the American culture and in the dream of equality. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s words continue to resonate through the marches and protests providing meaning to 20 consecutive days that "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." We march in hope and belief of racial equality and social justice. We march with a hope and vision that humanity prevails in how we hold the door open for all to enter into the American dream.
Let's create new legacies for our students and families and honor African American lives forcibly taken by doing better and being better than our historical legacies and our current reality. I dream today and always for a better America and an inclusive future for America and students in classrooms nationwide. Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech continues to resonate in the heartbeat of two pandemic viruses in our world, COVID-19 and Racism, "I say to you today my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream... I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, We hold these truth to be self-evident; that all men (people) are created equal".
We are a school of social activists with an active RET (Racial Equity Team) of staff and students articulate in creating professional development and conversations around race and equity and access. Seattle is our community and TCS is our school community. We can be the voice in peaceful solidarity as we passionately challenge social injustice and systemic racism in our world and in our classrooms. Please remember that we are all one world, one human race and one voice for social justice and equality, so breathe with peaceful responsiveness for George Floyd and all African Americans who have had their lives taken on the streets and for all African American male students who continue to be underserved in today's classrooms. Breathe for social reforms and racial unification that will create historical legacies that define a new America of equality for all people.
As we navigate into 2020-2021, what I know for sure is that TCS is a community built on resiliency, activism and promise. Students will recover academically as teachers are working to build in remediation learning in terms of helping students close the gap from 2019-2020 academic experiences to new course learning for 2020-2021. My hope is that families and teachers will continue to help students forge positive learning beliefs and goals in their individual goals for achievement. The grade given to students this semester is not reflect of their learning or their efforts, but it is a grade reflective of a pandemic and that impact on student learning. Grades from this point moving forward will be reflective on an evaluation of active student participation and work performance. I am asking students to step up into your learning in terms of engagement, accountability and inclusionary practices in the classroom. As your Principal, I believe in each and every one of you and I am committed to your success and equitable access as lifelong learners.
Although school will end on June 19, 2020, always remember that learning continues for a lifetime. Be safe, stay well and let's keep the conversation going... Thank you all for being a part of the TCS community. You matter and I remain honored to be your Principal.
Dr. Casey (Barbara)