From Dr. Ivan Duran, in an email to the BSD staff and family community, 1/29/19:
“In 2018, we completed the Bellevue School District (BSD) Strategic Plan: a five-year guide for our collaborative effort to ensure that our students continue to excel. In addition to presenting our mission and vision, the plan establishes the district’s priorities and shared values, while also providing some detail on the steps we will take to bring our mission and vision to life. Threaded throughout the plan are three themes representing the essence of our mission and vision: Affirm. Inspire. Thrive.
“In February, some school communities will be working together to do more to inspire and lead for racial equity—independently planning special events and activities aligned with Black History Month and Black Lives Matter Week. As a district, we endorse efforts—not only in February but throughout the year—that engage students, families, staff, and community organizations as advocates and partners for equity.”
Here at Eastgate, students will be involved in learning experiences related to Black History Month and Black Lives Matter Week throughout the month of February. Scroll down to see examples of activities that are taking place this month.
We thank you for your continued partnership as we strive to affirm and inspire each and every Eastgate student so that they can thrive at school and beyond!
Our students have been curious about skin color. We read the book, “The Colors of Us,” as a celebration of all the different skin colors in the world. Students were paired up and drew a portrait of their partner and wrote about what made their partner special. Our two Kindergarten classes then used skin-color crayons to decorate hands of multiple shades of brown for a multiethnic tree that now hands in our Kindergarten hallway. Our tree will change over the course of the year as our classes learn more about race and grow together!
First graders will use both fiction and non-fiction texts to explore the lives of many African American men and women who have made a difference in the world. They will then use this newfound knowledge to complete a variety of writing and art activities. These will then be compiled in a book for each individual student to take home to teach their families about what they have learned.
Second grade will be highlighting the lives of various historical leaders and their experiences of segregation and boycotting through various Reader’s Theaters. They will be focusing on the following historical leaders: Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, and Jessie Owens.
Third grade will explore current and historic Black leaders using the database PebbleGo Biographies. They will learn that change happens with passion and commitment as well as courage.
Fourth grade will be highlighting work done by Black poets, authors, civil rights activists, and scientists – students will make announcements every morning to inform the school about these people and showcase their findings outside their classrooms.
Fifth grade has chosen several articles from ReadWorks.org to highlight various aspects of Black History Month and Black Lives Matter. Each teacher will also incorporate individual lessons, discussions, and read-aloud books to further student/teacher understanding of the what and why of this important work.