May 12, 2021
As you may know, May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. This is the time when we celebrate the culture, history, and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the United States. I am always humbled when I think about the role Asian and Pacific Americans played in the formation of this city and country. From building the first transcontinental railroad to fighting for America throughout the different wars, these communities have deep roots throughout our nation. And they have made important contributions as small business owners, teachers, doctors, artists, scientists, in technology fields, and in so many other ways.
As Chancellor, it is important to me that our students and educators explore the rich traditions and achievements of people of AAPI heritage. It’s also important to have the hard discussions about the horrific rise in violence against our fellow AAPI New Yorkers and Americans. In schools, we are supporting this by providing curriculum resources accessible to educators in all grades. And at every turn, we must reinforce that there is no room for discrimination of any kind in New York City’s public schools. To our AAPI students, staff, and families: The Department of Education stands in solidarity with you. We will continue to honor your diverse and powerful voices.
For some amazing resources that are great for discussions at home with your children, visit schools.nyc.gov/togetherforjustice. In addition, your children can access a collection of hundreds of e-books and audiobooks honoring the contributions Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans have made to the lives and culture of the United States. These books are available through the Sora app; students can log in at soraapp.com/welcome/login/310229 using their DOE credentials.
I want to share one more important link with you: the link to our 15th annual NYC School Survey, which launched this week! I encourage all families and teachers in grades 3K through 12, and students in grades 6-12, to visit nycschoolsurvey.org by June 11 to share your thoughts on your school experience this year.
Tell us what you think about student well-being and engagement, communication from your school, culturally responsive education, how your school has supported you, and teaching and learning. Your school will use your feedback to think about the learning environment and work with all members of the school community to make the school a better place to learn. As always, I am grateful for you and how you support your children every step of the way.
Sincerely, Meisha Porter
New York City Schools Chancellor