June 4, 2020
Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,
RE: Celebrating Differences
Throughout all of the programs and services that are offered by the Florham Park Schools, the unwavering principle that guides us and our curriculum is our communal ability to celebrate student differences. The Florham Park School staff members are role models for engaging students in an equitable, fair, kind, and accepting learning environment. As we regularly state, We are a family , and we think of the families of our students as our own and celebrate their joys and differences, and offer comfort in their sorrows. It is truly remarkable to have a school community where student differences are embraced and serve as our educational focus.
In recent days, we have seen an outpouring of anger, frustration and despair erupt across our nation due to the tragic, untimely, and senseless death of George Floyd. Please know that the Florham Park Schools educational community, as a whole, denounces the actions that led to George Floyd’s death in the strongest terms possible. It is against this backdrop that the horror and incomprehensible death of Mr. George Floyd, as well as others, and the rampant violence this past week have occurred. Such tragic and senseless acts against humanity have no place in our multicultural society.
While it is difficult for us as adults to comprehend such violation of human rights, and issues of systemic racism, it is likely to be profoundly difficult for our students to understand. Therefore, if you would like supplemental resources and/or assistance to support the discussion of these issues with your child, please contact your school’s counselor who will be able to assist. Alternatively, below are links for how parents can talk to their children at home about social justice, indifferences and prejudice:
- Box of Crayons (PreK-5) - Sesame Street in Communities: Community Violence (Prek-2/3)
- We are Similar and Different (PreK-12)
- Every Family is the Same: Every Family is Different Say Their Names (Prek-5)
- Beyond the Golden Rule: A Parent’s/Guardian’s Guide to Preventing and Responding to Prejudice (Prek-12)
- Healthychildren.org: Talking to Children about Racial Bias (PreK-12)
- American Psychological Association: How To Talk To Children About Difficult News (PreK-12)
More than ever, we believe in the power of education, both at school and home. We must continue educating ourselves, our children and each other about our shared history. The district will continue to embrace, enhance and promote the concepts of inclusivity, diversity, and celebration of the differences of our students, parents, staff members, and the entire school community. We are Florham Park Strong and we are one as a community! As a community, we all accept continual improvement and our responsibility to grow even stronger for future generations. We will continue to grow, and we will tirelessly pursue a welcoming environment that promotes pride in diversity, acceptance, and inclusion.
Dr. Steven Caponegro and Mr. Nicholas Ritrivi
Superintendent of Schools Board of Education President