Dear REF Community,
One thing I’ve always loved about the cyclical nature of the school year is how June offers us time to reflect. And wow, do we have a lot to reflect on from the 19-20 school year. From creating and adopting a new strategic plan to making the challenging decision to merge campuses, from bringing on revered long-time Ravenswood educator Gina Sudaria as permanent superintendent to making the unprecedented decision to close schools and shelter in place, the Ravenswood and REF community have experienced a lot. As this tumultuous year comes to an end, I believe Ravenswood is the best positioned it has ever been to make transformational change and give our students the high quality education they deserve.
Lessons We’re Keeping
These months of distance learning time have taught us many lessons that we can keep with us well beyond this spring, including:
The need and opportunity for tight home-school connections have come into sharp focus. Throughout the spring, educators and parents have not only communicated more frequently but have seen inside each other's homes, yielding a whole new level of understanding and connection.
With three months of practice working with programs such as Seesaw, Lexia, Reflex Math, and Google Classroom, the school community is more prepared than ever to use technology strategically for a wide range of supports.
The Value of School
The District, REF, and many local partners have acted fast to address meal distribution, mental health services, family income loss, emergency childcare, and more, making it clear that school is a hub for supporting local families.
The Value of Community
If this time has taught us anything, it is how important it is to show up for each other. The REF community has distributed technology, provided language interpretation, tutored, cleaned, moved, and donated, showing that we really are one community here in the bay area.
REF Emergency Fund
Thanks to your incredible generosity, the REF Emergency Fund has raised an unbelievable $999,230.64 to date! This funding has allowed REF to address needs identified in the district as they surface. So far, we have supported:
The Reopening Schools Task Force will release a plan by mid-July for the upcoming school year. No matter the structure, it is clear that the continued support of our entire community will be needed.
On a personal note, as my first school year as REF’s Executive Director comes to an end, I want to express my deep gratitude for the privilege of doing this work alongside you. The generosity and commitment of the Ravenswood and REF community are unparalleled. I am inspired every day to be part of your team,
Wishing you good health, joy, and a summer that feels at least somewhat like summer. Looking forward to rolling our sleeves up together in the new year!
Jenna Wachtel Pronovost
Dear REF Community,
Black lives matter.
With our hearts burning, the Ravenswood Education Foundation stands firmly with our community to condemn police brutality, institutionalized racism, and all forms of oppression.
The recent tragic killings of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many other black people preceding them remind us that the work is far from over.
Our kids in Ravenswood, just like our kids across the country, deserve to live in a society that sees them, hears them, respects them, values them and affirms their right to life, liberty and justice. To achieve Dr. King’s “beloved community,” we at REF recommit to listening and directing our time, our energy, our bodies, and our wallets where our values are.
Yesterday, organized by an M-A sophomore (and former Costaño School student), over a thousand in the Ravenswood community came together to peacefully march in support of Black Lives Matter. In a time of deep despair, the actions of this next generation give us hope that things can and will change.
In the words of Gina Sudaria, Ravenswood Superintendent, “Let’s take action to disrupt the status quo, disrupt the inequities and address them, and ensure that social justice prevails in Ravenswood City School District… It’s our everyday actions that will count.”
From all of us at REF and in solidarity,
Jenna Wachtel Pronovost