Letter from the Principal



Dear ECDC Community,

As our nation continues to navigate life in the time of a pandemic, our country has experienced additional suffering as we watched for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, a Black man murdered by a Minnesota police officer. Our school community members have expressed outrage and have shown an elevated concern for our students, families, and colleagues. Not only have they reached out to express this concern, but many have taken an active role in protests, volunteer work and charitable donations. 

This is not a new phenomenon or a new area of interest for our school community. Three years ago, I led a professional development for our staff about the policing and mistreatment of Black Boys and Men.  Why is this important for preschoolers?  We have the honor of educating young minds of school age children during the time when developing brains are at their most influential state. We have been charged with teaching the foundation of learning that will last students a lifetime. We, at ECDC, believe that the only way to combat hatred in our world is to raise our voices, raise student consciousness and raise up leaders of peace, kindness and love for all of mankind. 

I am including below a message from our superintendent, Katrina McCombs, who shares not only her reflections on recent events but also the many ways in which to receive support.  School should be a place where students can be in open dialogue with their peers and teachers about how to make sense of a senseless world. 

As we remain in a virtual space, there is the added challenge of distance that makes it hard to stay connected to the needs of our students and families during this time.  Preschoolers have an innate desire to want to understand the world around them.  Please continue to help them do this by offering the understanding of using a powerful voice, and fair treatment for all.

In Peace and Partnership for Children. 

Loray Vaughan, M. Ed, M. Ed.

ECDC Principal 

Resources

Happening June 9th at 3:30- A PBS Special Virtual Event for Parents: Talking to Children Authentically about Race and Racism. Register here.

Watch the CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall here.

View our Professional Development on Including our Black Boys and Men here.


It is with a heavy heart that I write this email. The last few months in our nation have been emotionally draining. We have been fighting a health pandemic, one that disproportionately impacts communities of color. Also, we have witnessed the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and most recently George Floyd. These deaths, and too many like it, are a reminder of the bias, prejudice, injustice, and violence our communities of color continue to face. What happened in these cases was unacceptable and we cannot and will not tolerate it in the Camden City School District community. As a District we stand committed to protecting the wellbeing of our students and staff in and outside of our classrooms. We believe everyone should have access to the benefits of society and larger protections of social justice regardless of race, gender, religion, and ethnicity. 

 

Now, more than ever, we must use our voices to condemn violence and hate. We must stand in solidarity. This past weekend, I participated in a march with Mayor Moran, Camden County Chief of Police Joseph Wysocki, our district Advisory Board Members, City Council Members, and many other city officials. This peaceful rally brought together many members of the Camden community. During this event I saw frustration but I also saw hope. While one march does not erase the inequities and inequalities, it is a step in the right direction.

 

Given recent events across our nation, the District will observe Wednesday, June 3, 2020 as a Day of Reflection. All teachers and staff will have the day off. My charge to everyone on this day is to use the time to self-reflect, self-care, and recharge. I encourage you to find ways to show a commitment to anti-racism and dismantle the systems that have resulted in the brutality and violence we have witnessed in recent weeks and throughout our nation’s history. Also, whenever you feel overwhelmed, I encourage you to reach out to your colleagues, friends, mentors, and make use of district resources such as ComPsych, our employee assistance program (1-800-272-7255). 

 

What we are facing as a society is about right and wrong. Let’s stay united and confront social issues head on and together to create a better Camden community for one another.

Sincerely,

 

Katrina T. McCombs, M.Ed., MPA

State District Superintendent

Camden City School District

 

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