This section has been created to compile information, resources and tools to help support families navigate conversations at home about social justice and injustice, democratic protest, racism and dealing with trauma in response to the current events around the country. Please also know that we have created our Social and Emotional Support for Families website with additional information and resources to support your family’s social and emotional needs during this time.
If you have an urgent concern about the well-being of your child(ren), please contact your healthcare professional. If you have a general concern, please email your building Administrator and School Counselor so that they can connect with you directly to provide you with information and resources to support your needs.
We encourage you to review the resources included in this section that focus on how to talk about racism with your children. Despite the stress and anger that may surround us, there is hope in using these resources to learn, create, contribute and grow.
LHS Orchestra and Chorus are more than just performance ensembles; we are family. As teachers, we have a chance to watch many of our students learn and grow over their entire high school careers. One of the annual highlights is honoring and celebrating our seniors at their final Spring Concert. When it became evident we wouldn’t be able to share a culminating live performance with them in a typical fashion, we knew we wanted to do something special for the Class of 2020. And our virtual performance was born!
The powerful message of this song is more relevant and timely than we ever could have imagined when we began this process. Our wish for the Class of 2020 is that they will continue using their voices and making themselves heard beyond the walls of Livingston High School. We are confident that through art and action, they will affect positive change in our world. Congratulations Class of 2020!
A Celebration of the Class of 2020 and a Message for These Times - "Make Them Hear You"
Message from the Superintendent
At the Board of Education meeting on Monday, June 1, 2020, LPS Superintendent of Schools Dr. Matthew J. Block addressed the public regarding current events. The following is a copy of Dr. Block's comments:
The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and the protests that have followed, have hit us hard. Mr. Floyd’s death was tragic and senseless. The peaceful protests that followed have been powerful, and the violence seen in some demonstrations disturbing. To see this unfold, particularly in the midst of a pandemic, is difficult for anyone to wrap their head around. We know that attempting to fully comprehend these circumstances is hard for us as adults, but it is even more complex for children. Like many parents in our community, I had challenging conversations with my own children this past weekend around the issues of social injustice, systemic racism, civic responsibility, and civil rights.
As a former social studies teacher, I believe one of education's top priorities is shaping students to be productive citizens. As a public school district, it is our job to ensure inclusivity, diversity, acceptance, and equal access in our own programs and practices. As Mrs. Konner said, we have set cultural awareness and sensitivity as one of our four district goals this year. This is and will always be an area of focus and "work in progress" for us. We should and will always be reflecting and growing in this area.
We teach students that it is their responsibility to speak out in productive ways when they see injustice. Certainly, current events provide opportunities to have deeper discussions on these and other related ideas. Our supervisors, counselors, administrators are already identifying ways to provide resources to families to help adults talk to children about these events, to support students who may be confused, upset, or angered by what they are seeing and hearing, and to help teachers engage in productive conversations about social justice and civil rights. I have seen some of that work happen even today, and we stand ready to help our students, and reinforce the important message that everyone plays a role in positively shaping our world.
I also want to mention that The Livingston Public Schools is fortunate to have a very strong partnership with the The Livingston Police Department. The LPD plays an active role each day to help keep us safe when we are physically in school, and advises us on best practices to ensure we are successfully implementing our school security plan. Members of the department are on committees with us, participate in school activities, work in all kinds of ways with our students, and have helped us problem-solve on many issues relating to safety and security. Livingston Police Chief Marshuetz put out a statement earlier denouncing the circumstances around Mr. Floyds death. His statement can be read in its entirety online. Here is part of what he said. The Chief said, “It is imperative to understand that the actions of the Minneapolis Police Officers are not only not supported by the Livingston Police Department, they are also not representative of the Livingston Police Department. Livingston Police Officers are held to the highest standards of professionalism and integrity.” What Chief Marchetz says certainly reflects my experiences working with the LPD over the past year in Livingston. Their team is professional, thoughtful, courageous, and collaborative and I appreciate the continued partnership we have with them.
As a side note, I had the pleasure of handing out caps and gowns to LHS seniors all around town with a member of the LPD today. It was a lot of fun, and I know that the police officer and I both got so much out of bringing some joy to members of the LHS Class of 2020 who certainly deserve it.
I have been saying throughout our remote learning period that Livingston is connected. We are. Most importantly, we are one community, and we must and will move forward together.