When your children come home from school this week, I hope they tell you how they learned to appreciate that people have different kinds of intelligence. I hope they express even more empathy for others.
This week, we are taking time to celebrate something at the core of what public schools are about. We have inclusive schools, which means we include everyone — everyone — in our classrooms and our schoolyards.
Because we are here to teach all children, not just some of them. This is a privilege and a challenge.
This week, every one of our schools is spending time talking about what it means to be inclusive and even creating opportunities for children to put themselves in other people's shoes. This could be seeing what it feels like to not be understood, or trying to pick up Tiddlywink chips when your hands are in tube socks. It also means our school staffs are gathering to talk about what they can do to improve on inclusiveness.
Each year during the first week in December, Inclusive Schools Week has celebrated the progress that schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse student population.
To be honest, the San Francisco Unified School District has made great strides over the past several years, but we acknowledge we still have a lot to do to ensure all of our students receive the support they need to be successful.
San Francisco goes beyond just inclusive schools, we are an inclusive city. We kicked the week off Monday on the steps of City Hall with members of the Board of Supervisors. Our students sang and a high school band played. It was a real celebration. And for the rest of the week, our schools will explore this very important topic.
If you have a child in one of San Francisco's public schools, find out what your school is planning this week.
Richard A. Carranza is the superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District.