Help our schools over­come racial chal­lenges

The Calvert Recorder - - Community Forum - Lau­retta Grier, St. Leonard Dusty and Vicki Rhoades, Solomons The writ­ers are mem­bers of the steer­ing com­mit­tee for The Big Con­ver­sa­tion Part­ner­ship on Dis­man­tling Racism and Priv­i­lege in South­ern Mary­land.

Our pub­lic school sys­tem is im­por­tant to each and ev­ery one of us in South­ern Mary­land. It is, with­out a doubt, the largest single in­vest­ment that we make in the fu­ture of our chil­dren and our com­mu­nity.

The Big Con­ver­sa­tion Part­ner­ship for Dis­man­tling Racism and Priv­i­lege in South­ern Mary­land in­vites you to at­tend a com­mu­ni­ty­wide civil con­ver­sa­tion on “Progress and Chal­lenges in Our Schools.”

This free event is sched­uled for Sun­day, Jan. 13, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Patux­ent High School, 12485 South­ern Con­nec­tor Blvd. in Lusby.

In­for­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion will in­clude per­ceived and ac­tual needs and chal­lenges in the pub­lic schools in re­gards to: achieve­ment, di­ver­sity, eq­uity, teacher re­cruit­ment and re­ten­tion, dis­ci­pline, cur­ricu­lum con­tent, stu­dent out­comes, and workforce and com­mu­nity en­gage­ment.

Pan­elists, who will share their in­sight on our progress to date and chal­lenges still ahead, in­clude: Dan Curry, su­per­in­ten­dent of Calvert County Pub­lic Schools; Jan­ice Walthour, pres­i­dent of the St. Mary’s Branch NAACP and re­tired ed­u­ca­tor; Guf­frie M. Smith Jr., re­tired teacher and ad­min­is­tra­tor in CCPS for 33 years and seven years with Mary­land State Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion; and Col. Will Wig­gins, CEO of the Rem­nant Cen­ter of Ex­cel­lence, as well as other in­vited rep­re­sen­ta­tives (com­mu­nity mem­bers and students).

You, as a con­cerned com­mu­nity mem­ber, will have the op­por­tu­nity to join to­gether in fa­cil­i­tated small group con­ver­sa­tion to share your thoughts, sto­ries and con­cerns re­lated to these is­sues. Small group re­sults will then be re­ported back to the larger assem­bly.

This Big Con­ver­sa­tion on local ed­u­ca­tion af­fects all of us: tax­pay­ers, par­ents, grand­par­ents, ed­u­ca­tors, students and busi­nesses. Come join the con­ver­sa­tion and bring a friend.

For ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion about the up­com­ing event, con­tact The Big Con­ver­sa­tion at big­[email protected] gmail.com or 410-326-4948, or go to www.mid­dle­hamand­st­peters.org/chris­tian-for­ma­tion/big-con­ver­sa­tion.

This event is spon­sored by The Big Con­ver­sa­tion Part­ner­ship for Dis­man­tling Racism and Priv­i­lege in South­ern Mary­land, in­clud­ing: Mid­dle­ham and St. Peter’s Epis­co­pal Par­ish, All Saints Epis­co­pal Church, Em­manuel SDA Church, Patux­ent Friends (Quaker) Meet­ing, Calvert County Pub­lic Schools, Calvert Li­brary, Calvert County Branch NAACP, St. Mary’s County Branch NAACP, Me­di­a­tion Cen­ters of Calvert and St. Mary’s coun­ties, Con­cerned Black Women of Calvert County and Har­riet El­iz­a­beth Brown Schol­ars.

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