Last week, the El Segundo Unified School District (ESUSD) took time to virtually celebrate our fifth grade and eighth grade students who promoted to middle or high school and our high school seniors who graduated and will be attending college or beginning a career. While it may not have been the ceremony that our students and families deserved, we commend their significant accomplishments!
As we transition to summer break, ESUSD will focus on the school district’s imperative to accelerate our work to eliminate racial bias, educate ourselves and our staff about equity, and remove systemic barriers so that each child receives a world-class education and personalized support system. ESUSD stands firmly in the belief that Black lives matter and is actively examining our practices, listening and reflecting, and taking action to combat racism and to address the well-being of our Black students and other students of color.
At the Board of Education meeting June 9, I recommended changes to the Board of Education’s Guiding Principles and Goals for the Future 2020-2024 that explicitly embed anti-racism as a core value. The Board of Education and I engaged in serious discussion regarding the appropriate next steps. You may preview the recommended changes here. As governing team members, we aspire to support students, parents, faculty and staff within the education system, we recognize that education can be a tool to build equity, and at the same time it may become a tool of oppression against people of color, specifically Black people. It is our responsibility to learn, practice, and teach anti-racism.
In addition, Dr. Gooden, Dr. Plotkin and I have reached out to a professor at University of Southern California to work with high school student leaders to design a student-led virtual event meant to educate students and faculty alike, on how to be allies with our students of color, and engage in meaningful respectful, conversations about race. There have been three planning meetings to ensure student leaders have a voice in the event.
As a mother of three sons, my heart is heavy as I consider the unimaginable pain and anguish of Black mothers and families who have lost a child, sibling, spouse, family member or peer to racial injustice. As Superintendent of the El Segundo Unified School District, I stand firmly against racial inequality and oppression of historically marginalized groups and will work diligently to ensure ESUSD students have fair access to powerful and inclusive learning experiences. We stand in solidarity with the community we serve and all those working to build a more just and compassionate world.
With gratitude that we are in this together,
Melissa Moore, Ed.D.
El Segundo Unified School District