Equity at Lexington
We All Belong
In Lexington Public Schools, we celebrate the diverse identities that make up our school community and actively embrace the benefits that come from learning from and with people who differ from us. As indicated in our recent Strategic Plan, our first core value is "We all belong." We are inclusive of all people, and we embrace and serve one another. We are dedicated to working toward mutual understanding of all cultures, backgrounds, identities, ideas, beliefs, learning styles, and abilities that are different from our own. In our community, we all bring unique skills, perspectives, and experiences. We create a safe and supportive learning environment when we work to ensure that everyone is honored and respected.
Student & Family Supports Amidst COVID-19
As noted in Superintendent Dr. Julie Hackett's March 23, 2020, communication to Lexington Public Schools families, the period of school closure may create a variety of challenges in our community, as everything changed practically overnight with COVID-19 in our society and in our public schools. People with higher levels of cognitive flexibility and adaptability are able to adjust better to the changes around us. Now, more than ever, there is a need to explicitly teach the skills that build resilience in our students. Similarly, this pandemic is promoting discrimination and xenophobia in some circles, and this reminds us how important it is for all people to be aware of their cultural identities, how we view difference and ability, and how we promote respect for others. Whether your child and your family is part of a population with a dedicated support staff, such as the METCO, Special Education, and English Learner Education programs, or your unique circumstances require different resources and opportunities than the typical family, we want to provide all LPS children what they need to succeed.
Especially in this uncertain time, the Lexington Public Schools remain steady in our core values, including “Care for Yourself and Others.” As educators, we know that our students' basic needs must be met, and they must have the proper tools before they can learn. As we engage in online learning opportunities, we have asked all staff to be observant of students and families who have not communicated regularly during this period of school closure. Staff are encouraged to reach out to you—to our families. These check-in’s are opportunities to ensure our students and families remain connected and engaged in learning, but also to stay attuned to your needs. Families are encouraged to share with staff any challenges they are currently facing that will make it difficult for their child to engage fully with their remote learning. Support staff, especially members of the Counseling, English Learner Education, Special Education, and METCO departments, continue to remain available to you in “virtual" but personalized ways.
Beyond our dedicated school staff, we are fortunate that the larger Lexington community has ample resources and volunteers to help families with a variety of needs, including access to food, transportation, Internet access, and much more. As part of this process, we are reaching out to families in need of access to school lunch services and arranging assistance. We encourage any family in need to contact either Food Service Director, Kevin Silvia (Ksilvia@lexingtonma.org or 781-861-2320 x69107), or Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations, David Coelho, (email@example.com or 781-861-2580 x68061) to arrange assistance with this program. Families are also welcome to contact Director of Equity and Student Supports, Johnny Cole (firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-861-2580 x68052) to inquire about accessing community resources.
Education will look and feel radically different than it does during a typical school day. Educators and support staff will be an even greater source of support for students and families now than in the past. You will likely have many questions about COVID-19 and how to access community resources. Your school nurse and Director of Student Health Services, Karen Rufo, can provide assistance in answering questions. All staff should be familiar with the processes for providing additional support to families in need, as outlined in the Student and Families Support section. In addition to those options, there are some additional resources we believe will help all members of our school community:
- LPS Community Resources: This document includes a list of resources that the LPS community may access during school closures, including options for families based in Boston. The document will be updated as more information becomes available.
- LPS Coronavirus Updates: Click the link to access LPS communications and Town/State COVID-19 updates.
- Do Your Part: Help Fight the COVID-19 Pandemic: LPS families, we need your help! We are hearing that children who are old enough to be home and unsupervised are getting together with friends. We are asking all LPS staff to remind students and families each day to “Do Your Part,” and we encourage you to reinforce this message at home. Encourage students to go outside to get some fresh air and exercise, and tell them that it is critical that they adhere to social distancing guidelines. The Board of Health has asked that the Town of Lexington send the message that we are all potentially infectious, so please do not congregate, have no contact, and stop the spread.
This portion of our district website provides information and resources from the office of Equity & Student Supports, which works to ensure learning opportunities and systems that are fair and just for all students, staff, and families.
In January 2020, the Director of Equity & Student supports presented an Equity Audit to the School Committee.