For the third year in a row, Seattle Education Association (SEA) and many Seattle Public Schools (SPS) educators will advance racial equity and positive outcomes for all students by participating in a national Black Lives Matter at School week. Educators have been thoughtfully preparing for Black Lives Matter at School week, Feb. 4-8, and the district’s Ethnic Studies workgroup has provided educator-developed lessons. Additionally, hundreds of staff have attended workshops learning and preparing for this week.
This week is made possible by the efforts of Seattle Education Association (SEA), Center for Racial Equity, and SPS staff. Their leadership reaffirms the commitment to justice, educational excellence, and opportunity for every student here in Seattle. The important work that advances racial equity must be a daily practice, and the draft 2019 Strategic Plan for SPS is intentionally focused on students of color furthest from educational justice, ensuring that underserved students have the supports and resources they need to thrive. Seattle Public Schools cannot be a world-class school district until every child has the opportunity for a great future.
During Black Lives Matter at School Week, students will be given opportunities to learn the richness and conflicts of our histories in a truthful and accurate manner, they will learn about structural and institutionalized racism – and become equipped with the tools to combat it, and they will observe that educators in Seattle Public Schools will do whatever it takes to make sure they achieve their goals and dreams.
While there is much work to be done, there are many efforts at the district to strengthen and confirm the commitment to diversity and inclusion and to serve our underserved students. SPS is committed to diversifying our workforce, implementing racial equity teams across the district, lifting up student voice, and placing emphasis on restorative practices, among many other examples around the district.
Seattle Public Schools looks forward to an educational and impactful Black Lives Matter at School week.