School District 57
From the Desk of the Superintendent
Friday, January 13, 2023
Dear District 57 Families and Staff,
In recent weeks, police have discovered multiple Mount Prospect locations vandalized with racial slurs. Like you, I am deeply disheartened by these deplorable crimes. They run counter to the values we work toward in our schools and hope for in our community and the world. We must all take pause and recognize the impact of these actions on our community and our children.
What can we do to make things better?
As I have shared in my Superintendent Newsletters, District 57 is in the process of an Equity Audit, with an anticipated conclusion date of June/July 2023. We are eager to learn about the findings of this audit, including where the district has been successful as well as areas for improvement, so we can determine the actionable steps to take as a district to advance equity and inclusion. As a district, we are committed to providing more professional development for staff to deepen our understanding of culturally responsive teaching practices and develop new skills so we can grow students’ capacities for understanding multiple perspectives and respecting the experiences of others that may differ from their own. We will continue to reinforce the concept of See Something, Say Something. If students or families are aware of any actions that may compromise the physical or emotional safety of others, they should promptly report it to their child’s principal, so it can be investigated and addressed.
Efforts at school will not be enough. Our students need to have these values reinforced at home. I encourage you to initiate conversations with your children about hate speech and the damage it causes. Counsel them to report conversations where such language is used and to practice upstander behaviors. By engaging in these meaningful, tough conversations on a regular basis, you will help to broaden your child’s awareness and empathy and build a vision for the world we want our children to grow up in. I can appreciate that many parents and families feel uncertain about where to start. To better help, here are some resources/ideas to facilitate these conversations:
Cook County launched a campaign called “Cook County United Against Hate.” In their Resources Against Racism section, you can find many links to spark conversations about racism.
PBS has a host of tips and resources on their “Talking to Young Children About Race and Racism” webpage
Read books that feature diverse characters, interests, cultures, needs, and viewpoints. Find some suggestions on the Mount Prospect Public Library Website.
Take advantage of news stories to spark conversation.
Thank you for your partnership in this important work.
Separately - but within the scope of growing empathy within our community - I hope you will join us January 26 for a screening of the film, “The Upstanders,” a documentary about resilience and the power of connection to end bullying. The film starts at 6:30 p.m., followed immediately by an interactive panel discussion with District 57 mental health professionals. Reserve your seats today.
In the spirit of education,
Dr. Mary Gorr
Superintendent of Schools
Mount Prospect District 57
Bus Bulletin Notifications
With winter upon us, a reminder to parents of bus riders to sign up for Bus Bulletin in order to receive alerts when there are bus delays. If you have not signed up yet, go to www.busbulletin.com/parents to sign up for this free service. Bus routes can be found on your child's bus pass. Any questions, please reach out to Annette Griffith at 847-394-7300 x1005.