Dear Members of the Cohoes School Community,
Our mission as a district – a partnership of schools, parents and the community – is to prepare our students for success in tomorrow’s world.
The events of the last week in Minneapolis and cities across the country, including right here in the Capital Region, have made it clear that we cannot stay silent on matters of racism and injustice. Now more than ever, we must be partners in shaping what tomorrow’s world looks like for our students, particularly our black and brown students.
We all have a responsibility to stand up against discrimination, wherever and whenever we encounter it. We must take time to reflect on our own beliefs. We have to challenge ourselves to think deeply and examine implicit bias in our lives and in our education system. We have a responsibility to do everything we can to make tomorrow’s world a place of justice, compassion and understanding for all of our students.
When speaking with your children, I would encourage you to listen to them and provide them hope, empathy and an opportunity to ask questions. As a learning community, part of our role is to help people have meaningful discussions about challenging topics, including racism and discrimination.
Here are a few resources that you might find helpful for your own personal understanding, in conversations with others, and in talking with children:
- American Psychological Association: Resources for Parents — Uplifting Youth Through Healthy Communication About Race
- Anti-Racism Project
- Talking about Race with Kids
- Showing Up For Racial Justice’s educational toolkit
- 31 Children’s books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance
- Something Happened in Our Town (Video)
- A Kids Book About Racism (Video)
If you or your child are in need of support, our school counselors are always available and ready to assist you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.
In these difficult times, it is imperative that we stand as one Cohoes, united.
Jennifer Spring, Ed.D.
President, Cohoes City School District, Board of Education