Office of the Superintendent of Schools
Dear High School Parents and Students:
The district, Board of Education, and administration take all concerns about discrimination very seriously and are committed to creating a welcoming environment for all staff, students, and families. We want to make it especially clear to our students that we are here to listen with empathy and direct meaningful dialogue around important issues of social and racial justice.
In response to the most recent concerns from students and parents, members of the Board of Education and administration took swift action, meeting in committees to discuss the issues and reinforce the path forward for the district. The district has prioritized diversity, equity, and inclusion over the years through several partnerships and initiatives and will now implement additional steps to make sure all stakeholders, especially students, have a voice:
- The High School administration will meet with student leaders regarding issues of racial justice, equity, and inclusion, starting this month.
- The Superintendent will host a student roundtable with representatives of each high school class to foster open dialogue and support student needs, starting this month.
- The Board of Education will develop a committee of the Board to meet with High School students to foster open dialogue and support policy changes for the district, starting in the new year.
Additionally, the district has prioritized student participation in social justice issues over the years, by supporting:
- The creation of student clubs, including the Pride Club in 2015 and the Black and Brown Cultural Alliance and the Social Justice Club, both in 2020.
- The addition of the racial justice and literacy course to the High School curriculum.
- The move to gender-neutral graduation gowns for this upcoming graduation in response to students’ requests.
- LGBTQ+ programs delivered to students through a partnership with HiTOPS, a trusted organization that trains teachers, parents, and students to create spaces for students to feel respected, safe, and supported.
The district has also invested time and resources to engage professionals from nationally recognized organizations to train staff and administrators on how to support students of all races, genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities, and abilities, through the following partnerships:
- Edward Fergus, PhD, a nationally recognized expert in racial disparities and equity in schools, trained staff and administrators for a year.
- Richard Hall Community Mental Health, HiTOPS, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Safe and Sound provide ongoing mental health training.
- New Jersey Council for Excellence through Equity (NJCEE) participation over the last 3 years, which has supported us in enhancing the achievement and well-being of all students, and most specifically, increase the academic performance, engagement, and future success of students of color.
We believe in education’s potential to support healing, build bridges, and cultivate the next generation of leaders who challenge social and racial inequalities. We hope our students will continue to use their voices and influence to champion equity, inclusion, and peace. We hope they continue to find courage to have difficult conversations and seek to understand backgrounds and perspectives that are different to their own. We hope they see us, the school district, as a partner in these important efforts.
There is always more work to be done and more we can learn from one another to create a fairer, more welcoming school environment. Our differences are ultimately what will make us, the Bound Brook School District, stronger.
Thank you for your support during this time and moving forward. It is greatly appreciated by all our staff, administration, and board members.
Daniel Gallagher, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools