Dear FORJ Community,
We are concerned and working to understand the complexities involved in the reopening plan and in particular the educational inequities that it poses. We are in ongoing dialogue with NPS BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) families and caregivers residing both in Boston and Newton, white allies and the district. We have heard a lot of concerns from families of color, students and teachers that felt they were not actively engaged in the building of this plan. We encourage all families to fill out survey if they are able—as we are aware that there was over-representation of white families in the summer survey data that led to the decision that the hybrid plan can work for “the majority.” Furthermore, so many of us who have the privilege to send our children to school, are doing so for the emotional benefit that comes from socializing with their peers, and this can be lost for those learning online.
If you are a BIPOC family or caregiver and were unable to do the survey or felt it did not give you a chance to express further dimensions vital to your situation, we encourage you to reach out to FORJ. From what some of you have already shared with us, BIPOC families during Covid are disproportionately struggling with technology support, consistent WiFi, illnesses and deaths of family members, unemployment, and food scarcity, and these interrelate to how your students will be affected by the back to school plans. Disproportionate vulnerability also arises from transportation issues, work inflexibility, and no access to private tutors/ learning pods to make up for learning loss.
We encourage all members of the NPS community to listen to the voices of their concerned fellow families and express their resulting discomfort about the potential for educational inequity in this plan to the Superintendent and the School Committee.
There is much uncertainty and stress in this moment. We recommit ourselves to acting as a collective considering outcomes for all our members, seeking equity and compassionately supporting ourselves and each other.
The FORJ Board