10/10/2023 Community Update
Dear Springfield Public Schools Community Members,
This weekend the world was shaken by the terrors of violence in Israel. Our hearts are with our community members who have personal connections to Israel and the Middle East. We understand that our diverse community includes families impacted by these terrible events, and our thoughts and prayers are with you.
To our Jewish community, we will commit to not tolerating Antisemitism, in any form, in our classrooms.
To our Islamic community, we will commit to not tolerating Islamophobia, in any form, in our classrooms.
We commit to providing a community of respect and acceptance as we work to cultivate compassionate and extraordinary learners.
It is likely that our students are entering our classrooms personally affected by this war, curious as to ongoing news sources and overheard conversations. We will continue to ensure that our classrooms are safe and caring environments, where every student feels welcomed and accepted. Our school counselors are well-trained in trauma and grief support and are available for our students.
As educators, our daily work is to guide students to engage in civil and productive conversations about challenging topics every day. We are sharing resources with our classroom teachers about navigating these difficult conversations, and are also sharing them with you.
We also encourage families to review thoughtful resources available to assist in difficult conversations. If your family is struggling with how to talk about these topics, we encourage you to reach out to your child’s counselor.
Facing History and Ourselves: https://www.facinghistory.org/
Constitutional Democracy Foundation: Conducting a Civil Conversation in the Classroom
AllSides provides examples of media sources' perspectives, covering current events
News Literacy Project: In Brief: Misinformation
Judy Pace at University of San Francisco: Framework for Teaching Controversial Issues
Common Sense Media: How to Talk to Kids About Violence, Crime, and War
Common Sense Media: Explaining the News to Our Kids
Learning for Justice: Handle with care: Supporting young people during crises
- Elementary-school specific resources from the American Psychological Association
- Middle-school specific resources from the American Psychological Association
Resources Specific to the Middle East:
Solutions Not Sides: Avoiding Antisemitic and Islamophobic Hate Speech
Facing History and Ourselves: Processing Attacks in Israel and the Outbreak of War in the Region
We will hold all of those affected by this war in our hearts with the sincere hope for a peaceful resolution.
Rachel Goldberg, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools
Springfield Public Schools
Cultivating compassionate and extraordinary learners!