WHPS Office of Equity Advancement

Information, Announcements & Opportunities-May 2022

This newsletter aims to keep families and community partners informed, involved and engaged in activities and matters of the WHPS' Office of Equity Advancement. We extend a welcoming greeting to new families and gratitude to all of our community partners.
Big picture

The Office of Equity Advancement wishes our families a joyful Eid. Eid al-Fitr is a special celebration and holiday observed among the Islamic faith at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. Festivals, gatherings, charity, prayer and feasts, such as the 'Feast of Breaking the Fast' symbolizes a significant holy time for Muslims around the world. Eid al-Fitr takes place over three days, starting May 1st or May 2nd (depending on the lunar calendar)

Resources for educators are provided by the Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment (CIA). The CIA Team invites community members to learn more about Ramadan and Eid, by visiting Celebrating Ramadan and Eid - from Colorin Colorado (includes a book list).

May is Asian American and Native Hawaiian Pacific Island Heritage Month

The month of May is a special time designated to honor and celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage. The month of May was chosen to mark the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843. It is also the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869, largely by the hands of Chinese immigrants. AANHPI Heritage Month inclusively recognizes a wide and diverse scope of countries and identities that reflect rich history, traditions, achievements and contributions to the United States.

There are many ways that our schools and classrooms reflect upon and celebrate the remarkable influence of the AANHPI community in American history in May and all year long. There are also many ways that families can recognize AANPHI Heritage Month at home and in the community. We are grateful to have district teams and community partners that provide educational and engagement resources that honor and celebrate heritage. The following web and social media pages reflect just a few partners that offer ways to educate, enlighten, celebrate and honor AANHPI history, achievements and identities.

Jewish American Heritage Month

Jewish American Heritage Month is in May. Throughout the month, Jewish culture and history are underscored, and the achievements and contributions of Jewish Americans to the United States are celebrated. On April 29, 2022, United States President Joe Biden issued a Proclamation on Jewish American Heritage Month, which honors 23 Jewish refugees and successive generations of Jewish Americans that have stood on the shoulders of these brave individuals.

Our local and national partners in education help us to explore ways to honor and celebrate Jewish American Heritage through storytelling, literature, documentaries, museum exhibits and much more. The Anti-defamation League (ADL) offers a collection of literature for children and young adults. ADL's featured books come with education and engagement discussion guides for educators and for the whole family.

Big picture

May is Mental Health Awareness

WHPS joins together as one community, with local and national efforts to raise awareness about mental health. Mental Health Awareness is recognized in May as a time to increase education, strengthen advocacy, fight stigma and provide support and resources to people with mental illness and their families.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Resources and Supports can be located on the district's Pupil Services webpage.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities

Check back often for updates

Check back for updates

Care and Support for the WHPS Ukrainian Community

We continue to extend our care and support for Ukraine and its people and West Hartford's Ukrainian community. We are so sorry for the pain, suffering and loss of lives.

Schools have been helping us to assess the needs of the members of our WHPS community who have close ties to Ukraine and those feeling emotionally overwhelmed, despite tremendous resilience. As district teams continue to work to gather and coordinate resources based on identified needs, our school counselors remain available to meet with children and to connect individual families to additional community resources.

If your child is being affected by the Ukrainian crisis and you need support as a parent/caregiver, please reach out to your child's school counselor, social worker or principal. They are available to meet with your child and can also help to connect you with additional community resources and supports that your family may need.

Community Resources and Guides for Parents/Caregivers

Resource contributors are WHPS One Community Partners: WH Parent EDI Groups, Community of Concern (COC), Concerned Parents of Color, WH (CPCWH), West Hartford Special Education Parent Teacher Organization (SEPTO), The Bridge, WH Social Services

Please bookmark this site and check back often for updated parent/caregiver resources. These resources are compiled by our One Community for Equity partners: WH Parent EDI Groups, Community of Concern (COC), Concerned Parents of Color, WH (CPCWH), West Hartford Special Education Parent Teacher Organization (SEPTO), The Bridge, WH Social Services.

  • Covid Vaccines, masks and testing Information for West Hartford Residents-Get information on free testing, mobile vaccine services, transportation and language translation services. Read more HERE
  • Rental Assistance Program for families impacted by the pandemic. Information is available here: https://portal.ct.gov/DOH/DOH/Programs/UniteCT. Under the program the State will provide financial assistance to pay down rental arrears and help with future rent for families who have lost income as a result of the pandemic. If anyone has questions about the program the CT Fair Housing Office has some experience with it would be happy to provide assistance. Families can visit http://www.ctfairhousing.org or call Greg Kirschner directly at (860) 263-0724
  • Food Programs and Community Resources

A collaboration of parents/caregivers, educators and partnering community organizations. Please join us for the next One Community Meeting, virtually on Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2022 at 6pm

One Community for Equity: A collaboration of parents/caregivers, educators and partnering community organizations.

One Community for Equity: In 2020, the Office of Equity Advancement established a new collaborative partnership with parent-led organizations and community stakeholder groups sharing common goals and interests leading to more equitable schools and a more equitable community. This network of collaborators welcomes individual stakeholders. As we strive to achieve our mission, we actively seek the perspectives of all who make WHPS such a richly diverse educational community. Learn more about One Community for Equity.