FAMILY LETTER from Chancellor Porter- Re: George Floyd Case

Dear TAOTS families, 

Yesterday, April 20, 2021 our Chancellor, Meisha Porter shared the attached letter regarding the verdict of the  George Floyd case.  Kindly take a moment to read our Chancellor’s reflective letter. The letter highlights her feelings and her perspective as a Black woman regarding this incident, systemic racism, continued violence, and inequality that exists in our society.  Despite much sadness, her words are uplifting and offer hope in the belief that our children are the future for a brighter tomorrow.   

At TAOTS  we will continue to focus on creating a welcoming, nurturing, and  loving environment for all children. We want to make sure that each child within our school community feels heard, and that that they are important and they matter. We want all students to feel that their teachers and school community value their past and present experiences, as well as their dreams for the future.  

Appropriate resources have been prepared and shared with elementary, middle, and high schools to help facilitate open conversations and ensure our children have their questions heard. 

At TAOTS, we are committed to give our students a caring environment where they feel safe and where they can thrive.  Through our No Place For Hate initiative, TRIBES Communities, schoolwide assemblies and social emotional philosophy we will continue to create an inclusive environment where all students are treated with respect and kindness.

Thank you for your continued support and partnership. 

Josephine Sportella-Giusto

Founding Principal

April 20, 2021: Reflections on the Murder of George Floyd from Chancellor Porter

Dear Families,

Last year, a police officer put his knee on George Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and twenty-nine seconds, but to me, it felt like an eternity. 

I felt pain and rage, deep in my bones. It wasn’t a new feeling. I have felt that many times in my life, as a Black woman, sister, daughter, and mother to Black children—and as an educator who has served children of color in this city for more than 20 years.

That pain, rage, and fear has been present throughout the trial of the officer who killed George Floyd. I feel like I have been watching George Floyd die again and again, renewing the tragedy each time, as the jury and the nation have confronted what happened in the pursuit of justice for Mr. Floyd—and the family who is forced to go on without him.

And now, the first step toward justice has been served.

For me as a Black woman, for my brothers, for my mother and aunts who lost their brother to police violence, getting to justice is so important.

 For our Black and brown children to know that they matter, the accountability this verdict represents is so important.

In a world that too often tells them otherwise, accountability in this moment tells the Black and brown children in our schools that their lives matter, and lifts up the importance of their futures.

This is what anchors the work we do in schools every day—why we are so focused on creating welcoming, loving environments for all our children. We want to make sure that each child doesn’t just hear, but feels that they are important. We want them to feel that their teachers and school community value their past and present experiences, as well as their dreams for the future.

For more than 20 years, I have experienced the sensitivity and wisdom of children—they know what’s going on, even those who may not be able to put it into words. They can feel the energy of the world around them. So we are making sure our schools are safe spaces for students to share their feelings. Every school is receiving resources to help facilitate open conversations and ensure our children have their questions heard.

We also have mental health support in place for our students, teachers and staff to help grapple with any feelings that emerge. Because while the individual who took George Floyd’s life will be held accountable, we recognize that systemic racism, and the violence it fuels, is still creating tragedy and inequality across our country every single day. We are all part of the work to undo this harm and reach true justice.

 As you take care of yourselves and your loved ones the best you can, know that we are here in your corner, affirming the importance of our children’s future, each and every day. And that will never change.

In partnership,

Meisha Porter
New York City Schools Chancellor

DOE Multilingual Family Update

Dear TAOTS Families,

I hope you and your loved ones are doing well. As I mentioned in a prior email, the DOE is  launching a new, multilingual DOE Family Update to quickly disseminate important news and information to our families, and on behalf of the DOE I’m delighted to share the second installment. 

Kindly take a moment to view the DOE’s latest family updates & Translations at schools.nyc.gov/messagesforfamilies  

Once you are on this page Scroll down and click …….

April 20, 2021: “Update for Families 

Translations are available

This update contains time-sensitive information on the Senior Transition Kickoff, which began April 19, Summer Rising Registration, beginning on April 26, and upcoming CEC voting, which starts May 1.

Thank you for your continued support and partnership. 

Sincerely,

Josephine Sportella-Giusto
Founding Principal