March 7, 2019

Greetings Kent Community,

Following my communications last week regarding hateful graffiti on the Kent campus, I would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm our school’s commitment to ensuring an inclusive, respectful, accepting, and welcoming climate for all students at Kent Middle School.

Many students’ experiences at our school reflect these ideals, and from my first moments on the Kent campus I’ve continued to be impressed by the positive ways in which students interact with each other and support one another. On our 2019 YouthTruth survey, Kent scored in the 92nd percentile among middle schools in California based on students affirmative responses to the statement, "most students in our school are friendly to me' and in the 86th percentile based on student responses to the question, "I really feel a part of my school community." Single acts of bias do not define who we are as a community, yet they provide a difficult reminder that we must remain focused and consistent with our efforts to foster the positive climate that we envision for all of our students, and to swiftly respond to incidents that interrupt a sense of safety and community among students and staff. We will also take the time to appreciate and celebrate the many things that are working well here.

I’m finding great value in our partnership with the Anti-Defamation League and I look forward to our continued collaboration around our advisory program, this spring’s student led anti-bias assemblies, and the Becoming an Ally training for next year’s crew of eighth grade WEB Leaders. This work will never be finished and we will always have room to improve our environment for our students. So, as you and your children set academic and social goals for the final trimester of school (begins next Tuesday!), also take some time to name what each of you can do to contribute to the climate you envision for our school. Together can we accomplish these important goals.

Grant Althouse

Kent Principal