As part of our effort to create a welcoming and inclusive environment, the Newton Public Schools are focusing on helping teachers, students, and parents talk about racism and how to reduce bias. In order to facilitate this important work among parents, we have contracted with parent coach, diversity educator and NPS parent, Amy Behrens, to support parent groups working on community building and racial justice. She and her planning team of FORJ/RCI – Families Organizing for Racial Justice and awareness of Race, Culture, and Identity – are supporting parent volunteers from all of the Newton public schools on a monthly basis.
Parents can meet each other and form groups that facilitate the development of inclusive communities that promote racial justice. Our goal is to have an active team of interested parents at each school who meet on their own and participate in the monthly all-school meetings, which offer opportunities for further education, team planning time and networking. Parents are welcome to join at any time.
Our next meeting is on Wednesday, December 20th 7:30-9pm at Mason-Rice Elementary School (149 Pleasant St.). Superintendent Fleishman, Newton METCO Director, Maricel Sheets, and teacher Jen Tomaneng will be sharing and answering questions about the “Courageous Conversations” program being rolled out over a 5-year period in our schools. Schools teams may also have time to meet.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Amy Behrens and the FORJ/RCI planning team