To the Alliance Jack H. Skirball Middle School Community,
Thank you for continuing to be a part of our amazing family. It is truly an honor to work with all of you as we continue to service our scholars in person the upcoming 2021-22 school year. The last five years as your leader have been tremendously rewarding and I appreciate all of the love and support I've received. Our experience last year was unprecedented, to say the least, however, the real impact of COVID19 and school closure has yet to be determined. However, our staff is ready to come back and provide the best quality instruction we can offer to ALL of our scholars. One and a half years ago, George Floyd, a Black man, was murdered while being detained for 8 minutes and 46 seconds by a police officer. This act reignited the Black Lives Matter movement that continues to fuel our push to dismantle oppressive systems and spread love and joy throughout our school. Skirball continues to assess our programs and policies with an Anti-racist lens, w work that must continue to be done in the name of Love and Justice. Luckily, there are research-based practices and non-profit organizations that have been leading this work, and Skirball is committed to engaging in Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leadership as well as trauma informed and restorative practices.
Together, we work to hold our students to high expectations, pushing their academics, and improving our school culture. We are the Spartan FORCE and we will continue to increase access to a rigorous education for all of our kids. I continue to expect “no blame, no shame, and no excuses” as we enter our 15th year. Time is of the essence and we must demonstrate love and care, for ourselves and for each other, when addressing the challenges we face.
Our focus this year will be to decrease our chronically absent rates by 5%. We will continue to work to ensure that our lessons are accessible for ALL scholars, we want to live by the “All Means All” motto and continue working with all our families to ensure that every child is learning at a high level. We will continue to communicate the school-wide learning outcomes, known as the “Spartan FORCE” expectations, to all of our stakeholders and apply the PBIS model to generate a positive learning environment for all of our scholars. We are Forward-thinking leaders, we Own our learning, we are Resilient, we are going to College, we are Engaged. Third, we want to build strong relationships with our families and scholars and apply Trauma-informed practices that allow us to better understand our scholars’ behavior while also providing our scholars with the proper guidance to ensure success in life and in the classroom. We will continue implementing a strong advisory program that includes specific lessons on social-emotional learning and racial/ethnic identity content through Tolerance.org Finally, we will continue to host a strong extracurricular program through After School All-Stars that has hosted various championship teams, while also expanding our Student Technology Leader program to include all three grade levels.
I would like to end this message by continuing to highlight our vision to embed joy and community. Skirball is preparing scholars for a direction that is opposite to their trajectory. We push away the racial inequalities that our scholars face by teaching them about the world through an anti-racist lens, increasing their reading, tech, and financial literacy, and by modeling self-love, care, and leadership qualities and behaviors. As a community, we must continue to be resilient and cherish the time we have with our kids. We hope to continue being the bridge that will lead our scholars to a place of prosperity through social justice. We will walk them across together.
Alliance Jack H. Skirball Middle School Principal