June 1, 2020
Dear Wiseburn Families and Friends,
I wrote an original message for this June’s newsletter (to be released at a later date), but due to the events of the last week, I feel compelled to share a different message with our families. Our theme for this newsletter is Everybody Together, one that captures the essence of the Wiseburn community very well. But, as many of us are working from home, dealing with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, and trying to adjust to a new sense of normal, the events of the last several days add a tragic twist to an already everchanging 2020.
It calls to action the very theme we are highlighting this month and challenges each of us to embrace each other to support our students and the greater community. In many ways, the death of George Floyd and the events that transpired thereafter challenge our resolve, our compassion, and our acceptance of all people. As the son of an African American man, a Jewish mother, and as the husband of a Puerto Rican woman, I am compelled by the message – Everybody Together. I have always shared with my children the blessings of multiculturalism and the beauty of diversity. Personally, it defines who I am, the work I do, and my continued commitment to our young people.
Times like these cast a public light on issues that, often, remain in the shadows. As our students have certainly, in some way, been exposed to parts of the coverage of George Floyd’s death and the ensuing protests and violence, I encourage our families to have courageous conversations about equality and injustice, while at the same time, espousing the important messages of healing, forgiveness, and nonviolence.
When I stand in front of our schools and see the smiling faces of our students from Anza, Burnett, Cabrillo, Dana, and the Success Learning Center, I find great pride in being a part of our community. Our students are kind, caring, welcoming, and full of love. In Wiseburn, I have always been impressed with our treasured diversity and our unwavering commitment of acceptance for all. It gives me a tremendous amount of hope that the smiling faces that join us each day will be our future leaders.
We owe it to them, then, to do our part now. We must carry the weight together in supporting the response and recovery of an aching, frustrated, and angry community. The message I hope we all share with our children is that true togetherness is not at all impeded by ethnicity, race, gender, or religion, but rather, is much richer because of all the diversity we experience in our community.
At this time with the help of our CARE Team we have secured a guest speaker and panelist, Dr. Alan Green, from the University of Southern California to provide our families with support during these challenging times. We are looking to help answer questions regarding how to speak to our children about the current unrest in our communities. It will be held Thursday, June 4, 2020 from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Find more information as well as additional helpful links to resources here.
Beyond our immediate goal of continuing to be a source of information and support for our families, Wiseburn is committed to equality and equity for our students and staff. Moving forward, we will continue to examine issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion within Wiseburn with heightened focus and engagement. The conversation will continue beyond this message, and you will hear from us as we reflect on how we can listen to and support our students, families, and staff, and act as an organization that continues to promote equity and acceptance now and in the future.
Once again, I find myself thankful to be a part of this community. It will take all of us — together — to move forward toward a more equitable and just future, and I look forward to doing my part.
Wishing you all safety and good health,
Blake Silvers, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools