Principal’s Newsletter Feb 6
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TOPS Vision: We are creating a school that empowers students to be active participants, leaders, learners, and contributors to social justice.
This week I would like to highlight Lupita Nyong’o (actress and author of Sulwe). “LUPITA NYONG’O is a Kenyan actress, producer and New York Times Bestselling author. She made her feature debut in Steve McQueen’s Academy Award® winning film “12 Years a Slave.”
“Sulwe, Lupita Nyong’o’s first picture book, subtly celebrates her Kenyan heritage. The main character’s name means star in Luo (Lupita’s mother tongue) and there is an illustration of young girls playing a classic Kenyan jumping game called kati. Sulwe, the story of a young black girl dealing with issues of colorism and self-esteem, is based on Lupita’s Ngong’o’s own life growing up as a dark-skinned girl.”
- Lupita Nyong’o reads Sulwe
- Finding Your Roots: Lupita N’yong’o
- In My Genes, Documentary by Lupita Nyong’o
Please make sure to read the teachers emails sent on Friday.
- Open Enrollment begins for Option Schools on February 1st.
- Early Release: Wednesday, February 9th, School out at 2:10pm
Important to Read
Racial Slurs in 4th and 5th Grades
AT TOPS, the physical and emotional safety of each and every student is our top priority. In recent weeks, there have been several incidents in which racial slurs have been made by students towards other students, either verbally, or in notes and graffiti. These slurs include graffiti written in a restroom that used the “n word” and use of dehumanizing statements toward students of color. Some of these incidents are still being investigated. As we continue to investigate, we wanted to let you know that we are developing lesson plans to address racism and racial slurs. These lessons will be delivered to 4th and 5th grade classrooms over the next few weeks. Our goal is to prevent and fully respond to racist behaviors while also giving students the opportunity to learn from their behaviors and evolve into responsible and kind members of society.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing News and Resources
- National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA)
- Black Deaf Culture Through the Lens of History
- Sign Language that African Americans use is different from that of whites
- ASL Video of the Week
GSA and Gender Books
At our school, and at most schools within our district, we have students who are born one gender, but identify as another gender. We also have students who identify as having a fluid gender— they may feel like they are both male and female or neither. This can sometimes feel confusing to others and may raise questions. Over the last week, our K-5 classes talked about gender and how we treat each other. We read a book and talked briefly about gender roles, gender expression, and gender identity. The focus was on treating each other with kindness and respect. You can help support your student at home by answering questions they may have had and by encouraging open dialogue about your family values and beliefs as well as reinforcing messages they will receive at school which focus on respect, being inclusive and resisting and reporting bullying. As always, please let your teacher or principal know if you have questions. More information about GSA and Gender Books on the SPS website
Please be sure to follow the following procedures if your student is going to be absent.
- Email TOPS Attendance: email@example.com
- If your student is ill, please let them know with what symptoms and how many. Your student may be required to provide a negative COVID test to return.
- We have both rapid and PCR testing available at TOPS during the school day.
- If your child is returning from a COVID isolation of at least 5 days, they do NOT need to have a negative COVID test to return. They need to be symptom free for at least 24 hours.
What I am Reading
- Fiction: Finished A Queen of Gilded Horns by Amanda Joy. Reading, Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao. “The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain. When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed.”
- Nonfiction: Still reading Decoding Boys, by Cara Natterson, MD.
Videos of the Week
- Can You Read My Lips?
- MasterClass on Amazon Prime (free this month): Black History, Black Freedom and Black Love,
Joke of the Week
What do you call a mouse that swears? A cursor.
Stay healthy, be safe, mask up!