Dear AUSD Staff and Families:
I am deeply appreciative and thankful to all of you for the efforts and work you have put into the school year thus far. In each of our roles there are daily contributions and actions that often go unrecognized, but that are nevertheless critical to the functioning of our schools in service of our kids.
We all, in various forms, deal with the daily pressures and unpredictability that comes with educating or raising children. And as a result we go hard. We rush, hustle, improvise, and reassure even when patience and energy levels are on empty simply because we care.
I see that care in the faces of teachers who are watching a lesson or a project unfold as planned, and, elsewhere, in the artful way others scramble and reinvent on the spot when something lands flat.
I see that care in the faces of our parents when they applaud their childrens’ progress, or support them through struggles both mild and intense.
And I also see that care embedded in and underneath the critiques and the concerns expressed by both our educators and parents who righteously ask us to continuously try to get better as a school district.
In a time of global conflict and pronounced national divisiveness, our awareness of and attention to sustaining safe and supportive educational environments for all of our students must remain elevated. As we said a few weeks back, our focus will always be on meeting our obligation to provide a safe and supportive educational experience for all students.
We are all entitled to hold differing perspectives and opinions about global issues, yet what we are not entitled to do, at least here in AUSD, is to assume those perspectives and opinions, however impassioned, give us license to make children or teenagers feel othered or marginalized in our schools because of their ancestry, religion, race, culture, or identity. While these days and hours have us, in particular, centering our Jewish and Muslim students in these concerns and sentiments, they must apply to each and every child in our community.
It is a stressful time for many, and so I do genuinely hope that you all can summon or feel some sense of holiday unity and peace next week among family or friends and find some rest and rejuvenation to steady you for the remainder of the school year.
Superintendent of Schools