I hope you each had a productive week. I want to give a big shout-out to the Wellesley Education Foundation for hosting their annual spelling bee. This is a key fundraiser that helps secure resources that flow into our WPS work each year. Equally important, it’s a great community event bringing together student, staff, and various community teams. Special thanks to our WMS colleagues Valerie Stark, Drew Bourn, and Kari Sciera for taking home the best costume award. They truly went all-in on the Star Wars theme!
I also want to share that Dr. Chisum, Dr. Allen and I met with the WHS Muslim Student Association on Thursday. The students present recounted the challenges that they and other Muslim students have faced in light of the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. They described name-calling and other school interactions grounded in hurtful stereotypes that have left them feeling both targeted and marginalized. These students understood the need for the district to stand in support our Jewish community in the wake of the terrorist attacks last month and they asked the we be equally sensitive to the impact of the expanding war, the growing number civilian casualties among Palestinians, and the impact this is also having on our local community. I was moved by the thoughtfulness of these students in raising their concerns around these complex issues. I was also reminded of the deep impact that the war is having on both our Jewish and Muslim students, staff, and families. With this in mind, I ask for your continued sensitivity and support in the days ahead to the impact that the war is having on our students, staff, and families. It’s important to reinforce that neither antisemitism nor Islamophobia will be tolerated in WPS. Our district needs to be a safe place for ALL our students to learn and thrive.
Finally, as we observe the Veteran’s Day Holiday, I want to thank all of the members of the armed services past and present (especially those on our staff) who have defended our nation. You deserve our thanks as we honor your service this weekend.
Town Seeks Facilitators for Wellesley Civil Discourse Initiative
The Wellesley Civil Discourse Initiative (CDI) is looking for one or more members of the WPS staff to become a facilitator to help organize and run community dialogues. The goals of the CDI are to create a space and structure to foster respectful conversations about challenging issues in Wellesley, and to promote greater understanding and a sense of community.
Over the past two years, the CDI has hosted six dialogues in Wellesley, each with the goal of bringing people together to share, listen, and understand. (WCDI Project Summary). More than 250 people have participated in at least one of the events. The CDI needs more facilitators to meet the high level of interest.
The two-part training this month is composed of an introductory session on Wednesday, November 15 from 7-9 PM, followed by a full-day, in-person training on Thursday, November 30, led by the CDI’s consultants at Essential Partners. Interested? Contact Sharon Gray, WPS Coordinator for Community Engagement at email@example.com.
Apply to Run the Boston Marathon
The Town of Wellesley has received a few more bibs for the Boston Marathon this year than anticipated. Public Information Officer Stephanie Hawkinson, who manages the Wellesley Boston Marathon Charity Program, invites any WPS staff members interested in applying for a bib to contact her as soon as possible.
Deadline for applications is Monday, November 27. Read the press release here. Stephanie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (781) 431-1019 ext 2207. Happy running!
November 10th (Friday) – Veterans Day – Schools and Offices Closed
November 22nd (Wednesday) – Early Release – Schools and Offices Closed
November 23rd & 24th (Thursday & Friday) Thanksgiving Recess – Schools and Offices Closed
November 27th (Monday) Professional Day – Schools Closed
December 11th (Monday) Staff Budget Presentation – Middle School Auditorium 3:30 PM
December 25th – January 1st December Break – Schools Closed
Human Relation Services
The Human Relation Services (HRS) can help. Wellesley Public Schools has contracted with HRS to provide up to ten free counseling visits for you and/or your family members. This program is designed to help you deal with stresses of life and work –including personal and family issues, drug or alcohol problems, and job related tension. It offers prevention and intervention to reduce these stresses and improve coping skills.
HRS is located at 11 Chapel Place in Wellesley and can be reached at 781-235-4950. This is a confidential service. Wellesley Public Schools is not aware of the names of employees or their family members who utilize this service.