Principal’s Message – September 24th, 2019


“Only a new wave of vision, courage and hope can keep us sane – and preserve the decency and dignity requisite to revitalize our organizational energy for the work to be done. To live is to wrestle with despair, yet never to allow despair to have the last word.”
~Cornel West

Hello Kaiser Elementary Community:

2019 certainly has been an emotional and challenging year for all of us at Kaiser Elementary. This has come to a crescendo in the past two weeks. All of us are in some (or multiple) stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and/or acceptance.

Last week our PTA Board showed incredible leadership as they shared openly and honestly feelings and thoughts about what lies ahead. They created a safe space in which families expressed a variety of thoughts without judgement. It was a model of what our whole community needs.

In this meeting I fielded very direct questions about my role leading up to the OUSD Board vote and my thoughts about moving forward. You can find this at https://tinyurl.com/GuikemaThoughts.

As we heal, here are some things that I am committed to and hope to see from all in our community:
• We will continue to provide an academically rich and socio-emotionally supportive experience to all students.
• We will lead with empathy and honor the time needed to heal.
• We will honor every family and staff member’s choice and agency.
• We invite all to the table to plan for next year and beyond.

It is not ideal that we overlap healing and planning, however there is urgency around several pieces of the work ahead. The door is open to all who want to begin this work now and will remain open for others to join when ready.

We also need to find time to celebrate, have fun, and support our school community. This is exactly what will happen at our walk-a-thon on October 5th. I hope to see ALL families there. The funds raised go to support THIS year’s art, music, and computer classes, academic mentors, field trips, and much more. If you haven’t started fundraising already, the info you need is in this Pink Panther.

~ Dennis Guikema, Principal