At the YMCA Project Cornerstone Assets Champions Awards Breakfast last month, I was privileged to be in the audience listening to Ruby Bridges Hall, one of the first African American students to integrate an all white New Orleans school by court order in 1960. Ms. Bridges is the young student we see depicted by Norman Rockwell in his famous 1963 painting of the historic day. I was in awe as I listened to this unassuming hero describe how her childhood naiveté and the gift of community propelled her through daunting experiences as she paved the way for integration and equity in education. Mentors, community, and giving were the three essentials Ms. Bridges described in how we can build a future with and for our children that is anchored in empathy and free of racism.
“All of our babies come into the world with a clean heart.” They know nothing about race or prejudice Ms. Bridges pointed out, as she relayed the moment when she realized the impact of racism. She described the memory vividly, sharing that a little white boy in her class would no longer play with her and couldn’t come to her house after school because his parents told him he couldn’t as she was black and he was white. We teach our children to embrace the cultures and ethnicities of one another, or we don’t. Our actions inform them of what we value about others, such as the depth of the person and the beauty of one’s skin color, or the opportunities presented by one’s status in society. Giving to one another changes how we feel about others and ourselves; it builds community.
The last two weeks in Milpitas Unified School District have been abundant with examples of giving:
To echo Ms. Bridges: “Racism has no place in [our children’s] hearts, because the truth is, they will need each other just as we need each other today.” Yes, our students need each one of us, they need us to stand up for them, by uniting ourselves in an effort to evolve ever stronger as the glorious tapestry of culture that is MUSD.
On Monday, April 10, we were devastated to learn of the incident that transpired at a San Bernardino school. Our thoughts and support go out to the community as they continue to heal and rebuild in the wake of their loss.
Although it happened in Southern California, I recognize that as the images continue to play out on television the thought that this could have happened anywhere is a reality. And I understand that you and your child may have questions or concerns about returning to school on Monday.
As a school district, counselors will be available for those students who need additional support when they return to school on Monday. Simply let your school Principal know, so s/he can connect you to school counseling services. I also encourage you to have an open discussion with your children to help them process the incident, and more importantly, provide them the assurance of safety and comfort.
I want to assure you that student and campus safety is of utmost importance to everyone in the Milpitas Unified School District. We certainly hope that our planning is never put to use, but to help ensure campus safety and security, every year we evaluate and update our District Emergency Preparedness Plan. This ongoing process details step-by-step guidelines and policies for all personnel and site locations to follow in preparing for or in the event an emergency. In addition, drills are practiced each year to ensure everyone is aware of his/her roles and duties in establishing the safety of our students and staff.
In the case of an emergency, we also ask that you remember to look for accurate information from the district. We will deliver messages over the website, email, text, and phone calls. Which is why you have a role too: Please make sure your school secretary has the best phone number and email address to reach you. These two simple pieces of information can be crucial in the case of an emergency.
By working together, we can ensure that our students have what they need to focus and thrive at school.
Queridos padres de familia o tutor,
El lunes, 10 de abril, nos sentimos devastados al enterarnos del incidente que ocurrió en una escuela de San Bernardino. Nuestros pensamientos y apoyo están con la comunidad mientras se continúan sanando y reconstruyendo a raíz de su pérdida.
Aunque sucedió en el Sur de California, reconozco que mientras que las imágenes continúan televisandose repetitivamente, el pensar que esto podría haber sucedido en cualquier lugar es una realidad. Entiendo que usted y su hijo pueden tener preguntas o inquietudes al regresar a la escuela el lunes.
Como distrito escolar, nuestros asesores académicos estarán disponibles para los estudiantes que necesiten apoyo adicional cuando regresen a la escuela este lunes. Simplemente comuníquese con el director de su escuela para que pueda contactarlo con los servicios de consejería de la escuela. También le animo a tener una discusión abierta con su(s) hijo(s) para ayudarle(s) a procesar este incidente, pero lo más importante es hacer que se sientan seguros.
Quiero asegurarles que la seguridad de los estudiantes y del campus es de suma importancia para todos nosotros en el Distrito Escolar Unificado de Milpitas. Ciertamente esperamos que nuestra planificación nunca se utilice, pero para ayudar a garantizar la seguridad del campus y seguridad en general, cada año evaluamos y actualizamos nuestro Plan de Preparación para Emergencias del Distrito. Este proceso continuo detalla paso por paso los reglamentos que se tienen que seguir para todo el personal incluyendo las ubicaciones de acuerdo al lugar de preparación o en caso de una emergencia. Estos simulacros se practican cada año para garantizar/asegurar que todos son sepan cuales son sus funciones y deberes en el establecimiento de la seguridad de nuestros estudiantes y personal.
En caso de emergencia, nos gustaría pedirle que recuerde obtener información actualizada por medio del distrito escolar. Enviaremos mensajes por medio de nuestra página de internet, correo electrónico, textos y llamadas. Por lo cual usted también tiene un papel importante: Por favor asegurese que la secretaria de su escuela correspondiente tenga el mejor numero y correo electrónico para poder comunicarse con usted. Estas dos simples piezas de información pueden ser cruciales en caso de emergencia.
Trabajando unidos, nos podemos asegurar que nuestros estudiantes tengan lo que necesitan para enfocarse y sobresalir en la escuela.
Rector General (Superintendent)
What is at the heart of Milpitas High School? Our students, staff and parents! Their care for one another filled the gym amidst the colorful cheering and fanfare at the MHS Trojan Olympics on Friday, March 31. My husband and I were captivated the moment the student dancers charged into the gym greeted by waves of color that adorned their classmates.
While the freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors were dressed in their corresponding class colors of purple, maroon, orange, and pink, the mix of the four represented the vibrant joy that emanated among our students that night. While each class was competing for first place in the games, they never overlooked their connections to one another.
The frozen T-shirt contest showcased their desire to see one another succeed. The senior competitor was the first to unfurl her frozen shirt that she took from the ice chest. But rather than go to the sidelines to bask in her accomplishment, she charged over to coach the other three contestants. The freshman was the last to decipher the technique of stretching out frozen T-shirts, and her success was the result of the other three standing around her demonstrating how to pull the cemented folds apart. They hoisted her up in victory, the disheartened look of panic she displayed earlier gave way to a triumphant smile. They succeeded as one team.
I noticed too this same sense of connection and love for our school on the faces of our staff and parents. I watched the expressions of an English and P.E. teacher standing by the sophomores. Their hearts were with the kids, they were grinning and completely in the moment. A social studies teacher crouching on the floor by the juniors had an expression of admiration for our kids as he watched them struggle with the frozen shirts. In the freshman stand, an English teacher bounced back and forth between cheering on his students and sharing his delight with his wife. In the senior stands I saw parents whose expressions were mixed with pride and at times a sense of sadness as they realized this would be the last Trojan Olympics in which they would see their children competing as one with their MHS peers.
As I walked away from the event I knew this would not be my last, and I am sure that many of those senior parents had the same thought. This was a night that brought us together to witness the camaraderie and spirit that makes MHS the grand school it is. It is about WE doing and being together for our kids.