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Message from the Superintendent

Dear TUFSD Families and Staff,

Although it should go without saying, acts of racism, discrimination, and intolerance have no place in this community or any other across this country. However, as the recent senseless and shameful death of George Floyd, and other Black Americans has made clear, they continue to occur. As I have reflected upon these events and their aftermath, my emotions have ranged from anger and sadness to grief and shame. They have been visceral and overwhelming.  In our diverse community, it is critical that we not only renounce such acts, and the dehumanizing and harmful physical and emotional injuries which racism and hatred breed daily, but that we also resolve ourselves to work together to change this narrative. 

The Public Schools of the Tarrytowns are committed to ensuring that our schools provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for all, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, or immigration status.  An environment where the diversity of our students, and the community we serve, are seen as a unifying strength.  An environment where each student has the ability and resources required for their academic and emotional success. This is our vision.  Last year, in acknowledgement of this vision, and our need for support in this critical work, the District partnered with the NYU Metro Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools. We have provided additional training to our district leaders, and have also established a District Equity Team, consisting of students, parents, staff, and community members, to deepen our understanding of how our policies, practices, and beliefs impact the experience of our students and staff within our schools. This work will be long and at times difficult, but critical to ensuring the realization of our vision.

As a parent, I understand how difficult it can be to discuss the issues of race and racism with our children.  However, it is critically important that we engage our children in a productive dialogue regarding these issues to ensure that they feel safe, valued, and informed.  We can also learn a great deal from the wisdom and observations of our youth. To assist parents I have included this link to a simple, but helpful resource from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education regarding how to engage your children in this conversation. 

We also understand that these events and the multitude of protests across the country can have a traumatic impact upon our students and their families. Although we are not physically in school, I want to remind you that our clinical staff; counselors, social workers, and psychologists are always available to support you or your child. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns you might have.

When navigating the current and historic reality of systemic racism and discrimination it is important to recognize that we each have a responsibility to shape a better and more inclusive tomorrow for ourselves and our children.  However, our ultimate success or failure will be based upon our collective ability to ask uncomfortable questions, listen with compassion and respect, and work together toward equitable solutions. I can think of no better community in which to collaborate on this historic work.

Sincerely,

Chris Borsari
Superintendent of Schools