A message from the Superintendent
July 25, 2020
Dear Chappaqua Central School District Community,
Recently, videos were created by our alumni in which they share stories of racism they experienced as members of our school community. The events described by our former students are appalling and illustrate why we must continue to take meaningful and deliberate action to effectuate change to address racism in our society. We understand there is a gap between our espoused values and current reality. We are committed to change.
At our June 23, 2020 Board of Education meeting, the CCSD leadership team outlined our preliminary approach to our antiracism work, and the Board of Education authorized the formation of a Community Advisory Committee on Antiracism, Equity and Social Justice. Since that time, the administration and Board of Education have engaged in social justice training in partnership with Campbell Jones & Associates and NYU’s Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools.
We are currently restructuring our professional development approach for staff and overall learning plan for students. We have begun a preliminary curricular review to help identify the necessary curricular shifts that will result in a more equitable and inclusive learning experience. An initial step we have taken is expanding the BIPOC perspectives, voices, and authors represented in our learning spaces. With respect to our hiring processes and recruitment efforts, we continue to prioritize soliciting qualified candidates to diversify our staff.
Furthermore, a revised code of conduct will await our students when they return to school, with a clearly articulated process for reporting racial incidents to the school community. We will select a school climate survey for students to provide baseline data for our work and establish a mentoring program that is meaningful and inclusive for our students. Finally, we will revise our digital citizenship curriculum to educate students on the importance of establishing a positive digital footprint by being more reflective of the choices they may make while using online platforms.
As we approach this work with urgency, we appreciate your understanding that if it is done well, and in a way that has a deep and lasting impact, this work takes time. We believe that these steps will make a significant and positive difference, and we are committed to seeing these actions through as we keep social justice at the center of our work moving forward.
Christine Ackerman, PhD