A Note from Dr. B

Dear Lafayette Families –

Thank you to everyone who joined together to surprise me in celebration of my recent award. I am beyond floored by the love, generosity, support, and gratitude of our community. Thank you to Julie Vispers, AP Mayhew, AP Bosurgi, Kalena Clark, Bree Cohen, Anu Gupta, Edith Rankin, and everyone who managed to keep this celebration as a surprise!!!! I am still speechless.

I also want to celebrate International Day of the Woman by highlighting some of our amazing young women. Last week our girls in She Reigns performed “Windows and Mirrors: How do I see you” for the Chancellor and central office. The play, written by our very own Ms. Carre, was an outstanding showcase of our young women of color. I am beyond proud of everyone involved in the production and performances. Shout outs also go to our 4th/5th grade girls basketball team!! Coach Benab, Coach Field, and Coach Hover led the girls to 2nd place in the DCIAA City Championship game! Way to go girls’ basketball!!!!!

We also continue to move forward as a community in our work around diversity and inclusion. Our HSA Diversity and Inclusion committee recently hosted a book club to discuss “Between the World and Me”. Thanks to Tonya Esposito for hosting! The next book club is scheduled for the end of March to discuss “The Hate you Give”. If you are interested, please email Christina Daulton at or Danielle Carter at .

As a community, we also hosted a community conversation on race and diversity on February 6th. We had powerful conversations within three circles about our experiences within the community and as individuals related to race. The conversations were rich and the dialogue reflected our readiness to engage in real and honest conversation about race. Our next Community Conversation about Race and Diversity will occur on Thursday, April 23rd at 6:30 pm. We will continue to explore how the teachers and staff at Lafayette are approaching racial equity in the classrooms and within our community, how we can talk to our students about race, and how white privilege manifests within our community. In preparation, please preview the article “White Privilege: Unpacking the invisible knapsack”. The Community and Family Engagement Team and the DCPS Equity Team will also be joining us.

Unfortunately, we continue to have continued challenges at drop off and pick up. Last week, we had an incident of a parent harassing a caregiver. This time, although the caregiver was parked legally in the ADA accessible parking spaces, another parent verbally accosted her and called the police. My gratitude goes out to the witnesses and the caregiver who did the right thing and immediately reported the incident to the main office. We will not tolerate actions within our community that create a divide, undermine our community’s safety, and create unsafe environments for other community members.

Within a community we must care for one another, promote respect and kindness for others, and above all else, be each other’s strongest advocates. If you see a scenario that makes you uncomfortable, for any reason, please say something to an administrator or report it via email at . We will use this email address to report any issues you may be experiencing in the school community that are causing concern – racialized, discriminatory, or chronic, otherwise. The email is connected directly to our Point of Contact for incidents, AP Mayhew and Ms. Ayers, a social worker. There is no issue too big or too small. Please share your voice!

As a reminder, we must work together as a community at drop off and pick up. Please adhere to the following expectations:

· No dogs. At all. Ever.

· Don’t park in crosswalks

· No stopping on Broad Branch Road. The drop off lane is on Northampton.

· Slow down – there are many of us trying to all get to important places. Help one another by slowing down in the drop off lane, using manners to acknowledge other community members, and being mindful of one another

We also have had an increase in tardiness. Please be sure that students are in line at drop off no later than 8:40 am. Every minute they are late is a lost instructional minute.

Finally, I know there is a lot of anxiety and concerns around coronavirus. As a school, we are working to stay calm, wash our hands, and use the resources available to us. The District of Columbia has created a website to consolidate information: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/

There are also resources for kids to help them understand coronavirus: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/02/28/809580453/just-for-kids-a-comic-exploring-the-new-coronavirus. If you have specific questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to let our School Nurse, Michelle Kuhn, , or myself know.

Please take good care of one another, enjoy an Auction House Party, and bid away to help support the HSA and our school community!!! Thank you to everyone as we stay in stride together through these times of challenge.

With love,

Dr. B