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    Juneau's Journal Dec. 7
    Posted on 12/07/2018
    Instatute attendees sit together in school commons

    A Week in Reflection

    Similar to national trends, there has been an uptick of reported discriminatory and racially biased incidents in our schools. I have heard from parents and partners about their concerns for the well-being of our students in these times.

    I and the Seattle School Board are deeply committed to ensuring that all of our schools are safe and welcoming environments for our students. In response to recent incidents, I spoke with school leaders at this month’s Learning Leadership Day about the urgency of response when discriminatory actions occur; acknowledging the occurrence and its impact on students and families; and determining the right way to move forward in assuring safe learning environments for our young scholars. School leaders were then led in a training by the Departments of Racial Equity and Advancement and Student Supports on how to identify and respond to incidents of bias with the goal of seeking justice, avoiding blame, and promoting healing.

    Creating a truly just society, one that ensures liberty, opportunity, and cherishes each member begins with each of us. I recently saw a sign that said, “Be Kind, Be True, Be Brave.” As we collectively and individually pursue justice, I am asking you to be brave. Be courageous in your conversations. Be willing to name injustice and bias and be willing to do something. I promise I will do the same.

    Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending the first 2018 all team Racial Equity Institute,co-hosted by the Department of Racial Equity and Advancement and the SEA Center for Race and Equity. I am proud of the fact that over 200 people gathered over the weekend, challenging themselves and their educational practice, and working together to help make great learning environments for every student.

    Our schools and classrooms are inspiring places. Within them, students and educators learn and grow together. Our strength as a district lies in the beauty and richness of our diversity and through our continued collaboration, I know that together we can make a difference in making the world a better place for all.

    School Visit Highlights

    Students pose for a photo with Superintendent JuneauThis week's school visits were to three of the district's ten international schools. At Hamilton Middle, John Stanford Elementary, and McDonald Elementary, students have the option of Japanese or Spanish language immersion, and it was great to see such strong student engagement in classrooms.

    Hamilton International Middle School

    Students Joaquin, Thiago, Yaabsra, Mahelet, and Marcela led the tour of their school and shared highlights of their experience in leadership roles in Hamilton's Black Student Union (BSU) and La Chispa Latino student club. I thoroughly enjoyed learning how they use their voices to encourage change; hosting cultural movie nights, history assemblies, and other educational and social events.

    Teacher and students together in classroomJohn Stanford International Elementary School

    Did you know that John Stanford International Elementary School, named after the late Superintendent John Stanford, became the first language immersion school in Seattle in 2000? Spanish was the first language to be introduced, with Japanese following one year later. At the elementary school, I walked in and out of classrooms taught in multiple languages, witnessing students engaged in learning across grade levels.

    McDonald International Elementary School

    At McDonald International Elementary School, I learned about the school's offerings of intensive foreign language instruction paired with a focus on global studies and social justice. Students at McDonald interrogate international issues from their classrooms, examining impacts at local, state, and global levels.Superintendent Juneau listens to a student in a classroom

    Corny joke of the week: Why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other slide.