We’ve been hearing some interesting observations about the experience of Black families in SF schools, and have decided to make this the focus of our upcoming meeting. For example, Davonna commented that, as a Black mom, she would never send her child some of SFUSD’s most requested schools. Julia shared her tip on finding a welcoming school: “Ask the principal about race, and in 15 seconds you’ll know school leadership is good on race or not.” Ali, a mixed-race mom, was surprised to learn that many Black families at her school transferred from high-choice schools because they experienced negative experiences around race. As we move through this year’s enrollment frenzy, let’s continue the year-round work of building meaningfully integrated inclusive school communities by asking:Are our schools welcoming and effective for Black families?
We all have a role in making our schools more Black Family Friendly, join us at our upcoming San Francisco Families Union meeting:
“How (Black) Family Friendly is Your School?”
February 13th 2016, 2-4 pm
William Cobb Elementary (2725 California St).
What we’ll be talking about:
This interactive event will center on Black family experiences in SFUSD, and draw on the diversity of ALL our Black families in SF, including: immigrant, mixed-race, LGBTQ families, middle class families, families who need services, all of the above, and more! We’ll be identifying common themes among Black families and across SFUSD school sites, so we can ensure all Black students are fully seen and supported in our schools.
We will learn what SFUSD schools are doing well to engage Black families and ensure Black students are getting what they need. We will also discover what is *not* working. Together, we will create recommended practices and examples to take back to our schools. We also plan to advocate in our schools and at the district level so that some of the recommendations that come out of this meeting can become district-wide expectations.
Here’s what you can do:
- Invite Black families. Add this meeting invite to your school newsletter and share it widely. If you’re not Black, this is a great way to start a new conversation with Black families in your community. For example, you can hand someone a flyer and say (not all in one breath!) “I’m a part of this group, and it’s got me realizing I don’t really know what kind of experience you’re having at our school. Would you be interested in joining Black families on February 13th to talk about what our school does well or needs to do better?” This might feel awkward, it will probably go fine, it might not, but it’s important to start this kind of conversation and continue it, learning as you go. Use this flyer and encourage them to RSVP here.
- Come to the meeting. Families who are not Black are encouraged to join and discover strategies that support Black families and benefit all our children.
- Do the work at your school. When you see things that are wrong, speak up and engage. If you’re not Black, seek out Black perspectives in your school. Ali created these great simple tools to get us all started:
- A Black Family Friendly Checklist listing questions to ask at your school
- A fun Diverse Library Inventory activity that you can do with children, while integrating math and cultural competency lessons.
For example, Davonna commented that, as a Black mom, she would never send her child some of SFUSD’s most requested schools. Where did you get this information?
Sorry for the late response on this. We got this from talking to her. 🙂