Examining Our Role in Uncertain Times
At this time of year, you usually find our year-end fundraising emails filling your inbox as we run headfirst into the full slate of rich summer academic programming at B-CC and plan for our fall line-up of TAP, CollegeTracks, and more. But as you know, these are different times. Our students haven’t been in the building since March, coronavirus cases are still surging across the country, and crowds are taking to the street to protest systemic racism.
The rising consciousness of our nation only underscores the urgency of the Foundation’s mission – closing the opportunity gap with academic support programs designed to ensure all of our students have the skills they need to flourish and succeed. Our mission has been unchanged for 25 years and it’s more vital now than ever.
But what does this mean for the Foundation’s work in the 2020/21 school year?
We are deeply concerned about the persistent opportunity gap among our students. Food and housing insecurity, the loss of in-person learning experiences, frontline exposure to the virus, and family digital literacy all threaten to widen the gap for many of our students. We must creatively reach and support our students most at risk for academic success during these times so they don’t join national statistics, falling even farther behind their peers.
We are energized by the possibilities of innovation and redesign within education. With crisis comes possibility. With your generous support, B-CC often serves as an incubator for highly effective programs, like CollegeTracks, which later are adopted by other MCPS schools. We are prepared now to fund the new, innovative ideas of our teachers, administration, and community that will keep our student body engaged, curious, and thriving during these uncertain times.
We firmly believe that diversity is our strength. At B-CC, we have a long history of prioritizing an educational environment where students of different races, backgrounds, and beliefs can learn and thrive together. But recent events across the country are a stark reminder of the structural inequities that continue to exist for people of color at the national level as well as in our own community. To ensure that our school holds itself to a high, equitable standard of practice, we must double-down on our commitment to honor and support all of our students, promoting opportunity, respect, tolerance, and appreciation for our differences.
We want your ideas in addition to your funding support. Some of the best ideas we’re hearing about how to support students are coming from our community, which is rich in experience and connections. We invite you to reach out to any of us to join our mission. Please give and please engage; this is our time.
Our education system and our students are facing unprecedented challenges. We are committed to our mission, listening closely to the needs of our school community, and re-examining all our fall programming for impact. We will keep you updated as Foundation programming shifts in response to the academic structure of the new school year.
It is a dynamic time – together we will shape a path forward and we are grateful for your full partnership as we re-dedicate ourselves to ensuring success for all students at B-CC.
Matt Gandal, President
and the B-CC High School Educational Foundation Board of Directors