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Board & Director's Update: June 5th, 2020

ISD Board Chair, Thiaba Camara Sy and ISD Director, Dr. Alan Knobloch discuss plans for the upcoming 2020-21 school year as well as ISD's response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

The ISD Board statement begins:

Before I begin, on behalf of the ISD Board of Trustees and our entire school, I would like to pay tribute to George Floyd and to all those who, in the United States and around the world and for centuries, have fallen victim to the violence of systemic racism and hatred.

This year the board established a Diversity and Inclusion Committee which has worked steadfastly to develop mechanisms to identify and eliminate implicit biases and prejudiced behavior at ISD. The Board, through its Diversity and Inclusion Committee, wishes to reaffirm ISD’s celebration of diversity, human rights, peace, and global citizenship. Black lives matter. I’m here today to talk about our next school year. So, how do you plan for the unknown?  Given the uncertainty of how and when Senegal will emerge from the Covid-19  pandemic, planning for the 2020-21 school year is a difficult task.

Dr. Knobloch's statement begins:

The ISD Administration and faculty fully condemn and do not tolerate racism, injustice, and violence of any kind. The tragic murder of George Floyd is unfortunately just the latest killings of unarmed Black people.  These acts of systematic racism must stop and we all need to consciously take action to prevent this in the future.

We support peaceful freedom of expression and encourage all members of our community, students, parents, staff, and alumni to stand up and find a way to express support of the Black community and protest against racism in whatever form you might witness or experience it. We here at ISD acknowledge our own struggles with diversity, inclusion and fairness as felt by some of our students, parents, and staff.  While we have made some initial efforts, we remain committed to examining our own culture and behavior in order to make meaningful changes to address any racist or biased practices that exist in our community.

On Monday, we will share a more complete statement and the steps our school will be taking to listen to our black students, parents, and staff, to educate our entire community about the effects of racism, and to stand up against injustice.

ISD truly believes Black lives matter, and we will strive to ensure that those words are reflected in the actions and experiences of our students, parents, administration, faculty and staff.

Thiaba and I will be hosting a parent town hall meeting on Tuesday, June 9 at 5:00 GMT.  In the town hall, Thiaba will elaborate further on the recent Board decisions.  I will share our educational plans for next year.

The Administration and teachers are preparing to offer on-campus classes that incorporate social distancing recommendations, an online learning program, or both based on the circumstances. 

Click here to view the full transcripts.

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