Dear SFSD families and friends,

This week’s election has brought some important conversations to our doorstep.  As you may have heard, our Silverton High School students, staff members and families are experiencing this firsthand.  In one instance demonstrating freedom of expression earlier this week, the majority of our students were appropriate and respectful with their political comments and actions.  That said, we also had an important teachable moment when a few students crossed the line during the school day and made racially inappropriate comments to some of their fellow classmates.  This is not something we take lightly.  Intimidation and harassment is not tolerated in our schools and we took immediate action to investigate and address these behaviors.

Our mission is to cultivate character and academic growth in each student, every day. We want every single student in our district to feel safe and valued for the unique individuals they are. This recent situation was limited to a few students but it demonstrated that we have work to do to be certain that all students are welcome and treated respectfully.  It has provided an opportunity to engage high school students, staff members and parents in conversations about what it means for us to stand together as a unified school.  In addition to individual conversations, we’ve hosted grade level assemblies at the high school to talk about student rights of personal expression, about acceptance of all students, about racial tensions and about the continued work we have to foster a stronger sense of unity and zero tolerance for discriminating behaviors.  We’ve also now engaged the entire administrative team to discuss ways to support all students in each school across the district.

I am proud of our school district and the efforts by so many to create opportunities and growth in all of our students.  I know this is a common feeling across the district and I ask that you continue to partner with me in creating the best and most supportive education for everyone.  Please don’t hesitate to contact your school principal or me if you have questions or concerns about this or any other school matter.

As always, thank you for your support and patience.

Andy Bellando

Superintendent