Letter from Principal Chabola

Dear Lin Howe Families,

Welcome to the school year 2020-2021! 

I would like to THANK all of you for your support!  Taking on the role of the educational leader of Lin Howe is something I have always dreamed of doing. I’m looking forward to welcoming our new members of our Lin Howe community and continuing to build relationships with all of those returning families. In these unprecedented times, I want to thank you ahead of time for your patience, understanding, flexibility, and support as we navigate the ever changing landscape of education. 

I want to share with you in a vulnerable way, my feelings heading into a new school year as your leader.  I’ve always taken pride in our Lin Howe community and how much we care deeply about our children.  While that’s certainly true, the Lin Howe Staff and myself will continue to work to fully create the inclusive community that Lin Howe must become.

I have taken much time over the last few months to look at myself as a person and an educator.  I’ve taken the time to discuss with my family, especially my kids and former students, how what is happening in our world around social justice and Black Lives Matter has impacted them, their friends, and people in our community.  

I’ve learned that I need to use my position as a parent, husband, son, educator, and now the educational leader of Lin Howe to take the steps necessary to ensure that I’m doing all I can to help all of us reach and support all of our students.  

One thing that I have always taken pride in is that I would never ask someone to do something that I’m not willing to do myself.  With that being said, I’m hoping that all of you will join me on my journey, hoping it will become OUR journey. OUR journey is not one that will be easy.  However, I believe in our Lin Howe community and that together WE can achieve all that we feel deep in our hearts and soul by trusting in one another and working together in a space that allows everyone to come along this journey at a pace that is both supportive and comfortable.

I want all of you to know that 

  • I Believe in you

  • I Hear you

  • I Support you

  • I Trust you

  • I’m Here for you

So, as I prepare for the upcoming year, here are some things I’ve done to start on my journey and some things I want to do:

  • Taking an “Implicit Bias Test” that was shared with me from one of my former students, who was just hired for his first teaching job

  •  I have been in discussions with a high school friend who is an educational speaker on equity in schools.  I have watched/listened/participated in many of his webinars that he has led and want to have continued conversations about how I can be a better leader

  • I’ve had discussions with my former student/athletes about their experiences in our CCUSD schools and have had them share their stories

  • I’ve participated in a 3 day “Leadership Institute in Unprecedented times”

  • Reading a variety of books on Culturally Responsive Teaching, and meeting with members of our staff to discuss

  • Listening to podcasts and webinars on equity, and researching trainings for our staff

  • Reading articles on PBIS and school culture

  • Continuing to learn about UDL strategies and practice, and researching trainings for our staff

  • Creating a document of resources to be shared with both the staff and families around equity 

 

This list is merely a first step in what will become a journey. If you have additional resources, suggestions, or personal experiences you want to share with me, your colleagues, and our community, please pass them along. If you would like to set up a time to discuss a resource or a reading, please let me know.

This upcoming year, we again will likely face unprecedented challenges.  In addition to calls for social justice, we have students facing food and housing insecurity at higher rates due to the COVID 19 pandemic.  The families and teachers of our students with disabilities have been navigating meeting their needs without in-person instruction. Staff was asked to create and implement distance learning plans without warning.  Families had to work around their own schedules to work with their students, and will continue to do so in distance learning.  As we move into this new school year, many of those challenges are again before us.  Meaningful work is never easy and is sometimes at first very uncomfortable. That’s ok. We can collaboratively be comfortable in the discomfort because we know we are doing the right thing for our children and our community. My commitment to each of you is that I will work meaningfully each day for our students, for you, and for our beloved Lin Howe community.  

 
--
Casey Chabola
Principal
Linwood E. Howe Elementary
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