Dear Members of the North Colonie Community:
In North Colonie our mission statement for our children states that we are committed to meeting the social, emotional, and academic needs of each and every child within a larger learning community dedicated to growing its capacity to serve and deliver the service of education. This commitment extends to the families of our children and is based on the fact that children learn and grow when they and their families feel accepted, wanted, and valued. It is based on the fact that we are a caring community and, as such, we are deeply concerned about the impact of life events on all of our members.
In this spirit, I take this moment to address the hurt and pain that many in our community are feeling. With the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on members of our brown and black communities and the events of this past week in Minneapolis, we are confronted with the very real impact that systemic racism has had on members of our society. As a community of loving, caring, and compassionate citizens we cannot continue to ignore this reality. We must seek to make change fueled by love. We must be instruments of peace in service to each other, always seeking to make our community and the larger world more just. As Coretta Scott King has stated, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”
Each and every day, whether we are in person or in a virtual environment, our students inspire us with their kindness, compassion, knowledge, and commitment to a greater good. They give us hope for the future. While moments like this are exceptionally hard and difficult to process, especially during this time of isolation, please know that the North Colonie community is here for you. We are all in this together. Now, more than ever, we need to acknowledge the pain of those who have been historically disenfranchised and collectively commit to positive, peaceful change.
I would like to leave you with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Now, more than ever, love, compassion, and understanding must be the driving force as we work together in order to best serve all of our students and families.
If you or your child are in need of resources or support, our school counselors are always available and they are ready to assist you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Peace to all.
D. Joseph Corr