Virtual Pirate Ship

Weekly Newsletter of Drake High- June summer edition

Drake Parent Racial Equity Team- We have work to do!!

The Drake Parent Racial Equity Team is a collective of parent, staff, and community members who engage in the work of building an anti-racist community for and around Drake High School. The team's purpose is to engage in equity work at Drake High School by addressing the institutional racism in our schools and community. Understanding the unique environment of Marin County, we strive to make our community a safe place for our students and members of our community. We are willing to confront colorblindness, bias, and white supremacy in ourselves, the systems, and institutions. We will work in partnership with students, staff, and parents at Drake to recognize racial inequities and work to create a more inclusive and safe school for our community.


To begin to meet this purpose, the Drake Parent Racial Equity Team organized a spring community reads project where we asked our community to read two books on race/racism and come together to learn and share about these topics and our community. We welcomed the Pacific Education Group’s Dr. Lori Watson to lead two workshops on Beyond Diversity: Facing Race and Racism in the Ross Valley on March 5th. This event was to be followed up on April 2nd with a community discussion about Dr. Watson’s workshops and the two books we were reading. We invited the students from Drake High School’s Students Organized for Anti-Racism (SOAR) to open our event with a panel discussion about the state of race and racism at DHS. Unfortunately, this event was canceled due to the shelter in place order. However, our work is not over. We will work to bring this event to our school community in the fall, even if virtually.


In the meantime, we ask that our community join us this summer to read the books we recommended for our community reads event. They include:

  • How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi

  • Waking Up White by Debbie Irving


Both of these books are highly relevant right now and will help us all enter into the national discussion more informed and self-aware. Our hope is to raise the racial consciousness of Marin County and given the national out crying for this work to happen, we ask you to step in. We appreciate your interest in helping us work towards anti-racism as a community goal. It will take each of us working collectively to seek out the systemic racism and injustice that exist in our everyday organizations, interactions, and daily life and demand a race-visible, equitable, and just approach to life. We can do this, together.

Drake moves to CANVAS for our Learning Management System

We have heard from many of our students, parents and community members over the last few years about our use of multiple learning management systems (LMS) across the campus. For those that are unfamiliar with the term, a LMS is a software based platform that provides a framework and tools to facilitate online learning both inside and outside of the school building. An LMS is used by teachers to report grades, assignments, and other information in their courses. We understand the difficulty and frustration with having to navigate multiple systems to access course information. We also understand that this reality has been confounded by our recent school closure and remote learning.

A group of Drake teachers has been working on this over the last year and our staff has agreed to begin making moves toward adopting and implementing Canvas as our unified, learning management system next year. Canvas is a robust platform where students can access class materials (calendars, assignments, quizzes, etc.) online using any device, track their progress through teacher feedback tools, receive course announcements, grade notifications and easily collaborate with peers and teachers. Canvas also allows for flexibility and ease of access to parents, counselors, administrators and other school based support providers.

We are very excited to begin this transition and look forward to rolling this out in the fall. We will have information for both parents and students in August about how to access and use Canvas. Please know that it will be a year of transition. We will be training and learning this new system. Not all teachers may chose to use Canvas and take the year to learn. We appreciate your feedback (and patience!) as we enter into this new and exciting phase of alignment. If you have any questions, please contact Nate Severin, Assistant Principal at nseverin@tamdistrict.org.

Our Love and Support Continues for Millie Milstead and her Family

The loss of Millie Milstead is felt throughout the Drake Community. Thank you for all the kind emails and love you all have shared with the school and with the Milstead family. We wanted to share two resources that my be helpful for you.


First, some of her friends have started a memory page. Please take a look and celebrate the amazing life and family of Ms. Milstead.


Second, her friends started a GoFundMe page for the family.


Thank you for your support and love of the Milsteads. Millie- you are deeply missed.