A Message from Superintendent Pero: Community Partners to Support Students

The Pittsford community has come together in remarkable ways to discuss racism these past few weeks, and we have received feedback in many forms. In response to the “Community Conversation about Racism” and conversations with our students of color, the District has established community partnerships with local professionals of color who will serve as mentors to support students in the middle and high schools.

These partners will provide a forum for listening and solution seeking. Students will have the opportunity to share their thoughts, feelings, concerns and ideas in a non-threatening space with a mentor. The role that the community mentors serve is separate from counseling and therapy.

The goals of the community partnerships are to:

  • Promote understanding of the significant challenges faced by students in middle schools and high schools.
  • Provide support for conversations about race.
  • Provide safe spaces for students to share their issues and concerns and have an individual dialogue with a trusted adult of color.
  • Provide opportunities to rethink, explore, and organize ways to handle the issues identified by students.
  • Brainstorm resolutions to address identified issues.
  • Promote healing through restorative practices.

Principals at the middle and high schools have arranged for the following local professionals to be available to meet with and listen to our students:

  • Stephanie Geter, New Beginnings clinical psychologist
  • Craig Waleed, SUNY Brockport Counseling Program Adjunct Professor
  • Zaviour Johnson, The Center for Youth Transition coordinator

Schedules to meet with these mentors will vary based on school schedules and the needs of students.

As the school year ends, our efforts will continue and we will gather feedback from students, parents, staff, administrators and community mentors to develop long-term plans to ensure a fully inclusive environment.