Dear Parents,

I hope you and your family are well and are finding time to rest and enjoy time together. We want to reach out to you as a follow up to the letter we sent on Saturday, June 6, on our work to celebrate our diversity, promote equity, and ensure that SAS is an inclusive place for all people.

In recent weeks, we have had numerous thoughtful and reflective conversations with current students, alumni, parents, and SAS educators. While individuals shared a range of experiences and viewpoints, there were several consistent themes. One of these themes was urgency around our shared work to ensure SAS is a place where all community members feel safe, valued, welcome, and equitably treated. Another theme we heard was a desire to better understand the concrete actions that we can take together both in the short term and in the long term.

The question we want to address in this letter is this—what are we doing and planning to do as a school to combat bias, prejudice, and racism?

Since we last wrote, our SAS senior leadership team, which includes the principals from all three divisions, has met several times to reflect on points raised by students, alumni, educators, and parents and discuss potential next steps. The wonderful diversity of the school is one of the prime reasons we are all working at SAS and our children are SAS students. We recognize the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion to our school community and have committed to making this a priority this coming year and in future years.

Below are some steps we have already taken and steps we plan on taking when we come back to SAS later this summer:

  • We have outlined a number of areas to focus on, including school culture, curriculum, educator training, parent engagement, educator diversity, and personal learning. It is important to plan our next steps inclusively, and we want to get comprehensive feedback on possible action steps before we decide on a detailed plan.
  • We sought feedback and guidance on these draft action steps from the SAS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Planning Team, which was established earlier this year. This team is a diverse group of SAS educators.
  • We have carefully reviewed the feedback we received and we are planning to share the educational resources that have been suggested by students and educators.
  • We met with several groups of students including the High School Student Council and a significant number of SAS alumni. These conversations helped to further illustrate just how important this work is.
  • We are in the process of learning together as a senior leadership team. We are building our own capacity to reflect on our own experiences and to engage thoughtfully in conversations about these important and complex issues. We will focus on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion during our team retreat in our first week back in July.
  • We are looking at how to continue to support the learning of our faculty and staff. We are working with outside experts to prepare professional learning opportunities for our educators in their first week back at school at the end of July.

We look forward to sharing more with you when we return in the fall, and we look forward to establishing more opportunities for parent voice and input on these issues as we chart our path forward here. Thank you for your continued support.

Best,

Tom Boasberg
Superintendent