In light of the recent tragic events involving the death of George Floyd and many others, and increasing racial tensions across our country, the Parents Diversity Council (PDC) invites you to learn about its mission and goal to be a community resource. The PDC, a long-time vision of Bedford School Superintendent Jon Sills, was officially launched in 2019. The group’s ultimate goal is to create a culture of belonging among families of all aged students in Bedford, Boston (our METCO students and families), and Hanscom Air Force Base.
Who We Are
The Parents Diversity Council was originally formed to support the Bedford Public Schools’ workaround diversifying faculty, closing achievement gaps, and bringing students closer together across our racial and geographic boundaries.
Bedford is in the unique position of being a relatively small district and having quite a diverse student population with 33% students of color, the product of Bedford’s own changing demographics, our METCO program participation, and our continued commitment to educate the students from Hanscom Air Force Base.
This diversity, which also includes significant linguistic variation (over 140 of our students speak a primary language other than English) is one of the key contributors to the high quality of all BPS students’ educational experiences. But being racially, linguistically, and socio-economically diverse does not automatically yield strong social bonds across these differences, nor optimize the learning opportunities that understanding these differences can provide. And this diversity brings with it its own challenges that involve opportunity and achievement gaps, hurtful comments, and social isolation.
While the district has been working on many of these issues over the years, the challenges are great, and it was realized there is a need to tap into the parent community’s thinking, resources, and connections in systematic ways beyond the work of our school councils. PDC council members are residents of Bedford, Boston, and Hanscom, and represent all grade level schools.
Key PDC functions include:
- Being a sounding board, source of ideas and information regarding school matters related to race and racism that our students, staff, and families experience
- Helping to network and brainstorm to better diversify our faculty and staff
- Becoming an activist committee that can create opportunities to bring our students and families together and build meaningful, lasting relationships
- Support our efforts to close our achievement gaps
How to Find Us
Right now, you can contact us and find many shared resources on our Facebook Page – Parents Diversity Council. Please “like” us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Parents-Diversity-Council-1750725858364078/ to get involved, to stay updated, and to share your ideas.
We are currently planning a summer book club for parents. We will read Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. We chose this book because it is informative for adults about the history of racism in the United States, but also because it is aimed at children, ages 12 and up. We thought it was a good choice so that parents with older children could share or read together. We will meet virtually 3 times during July and August (dates to be announced soon).
If you would like to be part of this summer book club for parents, email PDCBedford@gmail.com.