The 2019-2020 school year has certainly presented its share of challenges and uncertainty with the escalation of the global pandemic beginning in March 2020. Schools across New Jersey have been closed for months and the opening of schools in September 2020 is at least a question at this time.
Over Memorial Day weekend, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died in Minneapolis, Minnesota after a white officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed face down on the ground. This scene has been shared by news outlets and social media sites across the country. Strong feelings, emotions, and thoughts have been expressed by many different groups as well as organizations. As the educational leader of Eatontown Public Schools, I am alarmed by these images as well as concerned about the children of Eatontown’s health and well-being during these difficult times.
Our teachers and staff are aware of the turmoil these events have caused on our nation, state, and community. Our school system wants you to know that it is here to support you and your family in the days and weeks ahead. If your child has questions regarding the social issues raised by the George Floyd incident and you are at a loss for answers, which is understandable, please reach out to our School Counselors for assistance. They can help you find age-appropriate resources to support your child.
The district will continue to support issues of equity now and in the future. In January, the Board of Education created a Social and Emotional Wellness and Equity committee. The schools are using Casel.org resources to support Social and Emotional Learning in the classrooms. One of the components of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is Social Awareness.
Social Awareness is defined by Casel.org as “The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.” Eatontown Public Schools will continue to use school and as well as outside resources such as the YMCA Counseling Program and the Visiting Nurse Association to support student well-being. The district also enjoys a strong and supportive relationship with the Eatontown Police Department.
Thank you for your consideration and cooperation. Times like these remind us that although we have made progress on many fronts, it is imperative that we continue do our part in creating more equitable outcomes and circumstances for the people living in our diverse community and nation.
Scott T. McCue
Superintendent of Schools