Dear AUSD Families:
As we move through October, we continue to be appreciative for the community of educators and learners we are privileged to serve and support. In October we have had opportunities to observe and absorb cultural history and vibrance through National Hispanic Heritage Month, educate ourselves on the plight and living legacy of indigenous peoples, and learn from our Jewish families who celebrated Yom Kippur.
We also celebrate LGBTQ+ history this month and are reminded again of the enduring influence of teachers when we note that LGBTQ History Month was in fact founded in 1994 by a high school teacher from Missouri named Rodney Wilson, who wanted to commemorate some of the first courageous large-scale marches on Washington for LGBTQ rights back in 1979 and 1987.
Our learning communities will always have avenues of improvement to travel, but it is worthwhile to periodically pause with gratitude and appreciation for the diversity and range of experience and expression that characterize so many of our classrooms and learning environments.
As we begin to refine and strengthen the base of our foundational educational program for our students, we know that strengthening their fundamental literacy and numeracy skills, as well as their capacities for creative and critical thinking, are the tools that will equip them to better advocate, critique, construct, and reimagine a world that is increasingly welcoming to any and all.
I firmly believe that with a balanced offering of continuously improving academics, community building, and social and emotional learning, our students can lead us, to quote actor and advocate George Takei, to be “calm in the face of difference, and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity.”