Coming Together to Support our Students and Each Other In These Ever-Challenging Times
March 4, 2022
Dear School District of Philadelphia Families & Students,
These past two years have been extremely difficult; challenging our resilience and humanity. And most recently, we are deeply troubled by the escalating attacks in Ukraine, and the heart-wrenching images that bear witness to the tragic loss of life and devastation that intensifies each day.
Our School District community reflects a wide range of races, cultures and backgrounds. As an organization, we express our deepest concern, sympathy and support for our staff, students and families who have connections to Ukraine – many of whom are experiencing deep sadness and concern for their loved ones. Please know that we are here to support you.
Counseling teams in each of our schools are available for students and staff who are in need of support. Please do not hesitate to contact your school for help. Additionally, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is available to hold spaces for community conversations as we all move through this difficult time. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We have also provided our counselors and school leaders with resources to help them support students during this time. Helpful resources for families are available below:
- Resources for Educators, Families to Discuss the Events in Ukraine with Students.
- How To Talk To Youth About Ukraine
- Helping Students Cope With A Violent World
- American Psychological Association Article: Resilience In A Time Of War: Tips For Parents And Teachers Of Elementary School Children.
- American Psychological Association Article: Resilience In A Time Of War: Tips For Parents And Teachers Of Middle School Children.
This is an uncertain situation and while we do not know the final outcome or even how events will unfold over the coming days or weeks, I urge everyone in our School District community to remain committed to promoting a shared culture of love and compassion. Let us keep a watchful eye on one another, with a focus on the most vulnerable among us, using every opportunity to cultivate brave spaces in our classrooms and offices for people to share their thoughts and express their feelings. Our highest priority is to maintain safe, welcoming, supportive and equitable environments for all our students and staff.
We hope that the crisis in Ukraine and all others impacting the communities we serve will end soon so that peace and healing can begin. Until then, I look forward to coming together as a united school district community to support and care for one another.
William R. Hite Jr., Ed.D.
The School District of Philadelphia