Black History Month 2023

February 10, 2023

Dear KLSD Community,

In all our schools, Black History Month is being acknowledged and celebrated in a variety of ways. The following is a sampling.

Visual displays in all five of our schools draw attention to important and relevant figures in African American history. These displays are called out on morning announcements, are visited by students and teachers to supplement and inspire classroom lessons, and they serve as springboards for conversation.

We have become increasingly conscious of the importance of acknowledging the richest and most complete spectrum of Black history – from the beauty of everyday life, to the joy and celebration of achievement, to the inequities, discrimination, and struggle that have existed throughout history and continue to this day.  School librarians have curated displays of relevant books and materials for students to study and for teachers to use in class. Field trips will take some of our students to relevant historical sites and in-school assemblies will bring exposure to relevant cultural experiences to others.

We recognize also that this work cannot and must not be limited to a single month of the year. In November, the Ivalas Quartet visited JJMS and JJHS’s orchestras. In December and January, all fifth graders in the district visited an exhibit at the Katonah Museum of Art entitled Tenacity & Resilience: The Art of Jerry Pinkney.

I want to thank all my colleagues and all our students who are involved in this work, and in the same breath, acknowledge that the work of creating an ever more inclusive and welcoming school community must continue. We know we are far from done, and that much more work lies ahead. The discrete activities described above, and those they represent, are steppingstones forward. We will continue working towards a day when an equitable, welcoming, and affirming environment for all is the solid ground under our feet and the air we breathe.

I wish everyone a good weekend,

Andrew Selesnick, Superintendent of Schools