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October 2020


Greetings, Purgolder Family!

It is hard to believe that we have nearly completed our first month of virtual school. I want to express my gratitude for the grace and positivity with which you have approached this unprecedented set of circumstances and all of its challenges. We are learning new things everyday and I am certain that all of us, students and staff, will come out of this with new skills and ways of supporting each other that will continue to serve us long after our return to in-person school. We acknowledge how much of a struggle this is for many students and families, and we would much rather be seeing you all at East each day. Still, our students are attending virtual classes in large numbers, joining clubs, completing work in google classroom, staying after class to get help, and generally doing many of the things that make school, school. Students I know that this is not what you want or deserve, but I want to thank you for proving once again how resilient, adaptive and compassionate you can be. You really do model our community’s best qualities every time you are tested. I am also grateful for our staff, who have had to learn an entirely different way to do our work. In a sense, we are all new educators this year and I am continually impressed with the innovation and care for students with which our staff have approached their work. Collectively, we are only going to keep getting better at this until the day when we can put it behind us. 

I am especially proud this month of our student activists at East; the members of Students Unlearning Racism, the Black Student Union, the students who turned out in large numbers for the first Raza United meeting of the year, our Student Congress who have made diversity and civic engagement their goals for the year ahead, the students in Gender Equity Club who showed up for the tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the student leaders who are planning a voter registration drive and have made Human Rights Week into Human Rights Year at East. Young people on the Eastside are not throwing up their hands and resigning themselves to the status quo. They are working for the changes they want to see in the world, and providing an  example for all of us. They are reminding us once again that we are lucky to be a part of this community.

Please reach out if you want to know more about student activism at East, and as always, let us know if there is anything you need.    

Brendan Kearney