Seniors & Senior Parents-
We wanted to take a moment to address the tradition of Senior Recognition and the way we are moving forward with this tradition this year. We respect this tradition, and as we have worked to do all year long, our intention has been and is to honor the traditions of the AHS Orchestra wherever possible. At the same time, we have a responsibility to every student in the program to be as inclusive as possible, and to provide equality of opportunity to all as we move forward. The purpose behind the minor adjustments that have been made to Senior Recognition is to strike a balance between these two interests.
Arlington High School is an incredibly diverse, urban school. This is one of the strengths of AHS, and one of the aspects of the school that we love. That diversity is not only cultural, but also socioeconomic. Many of our students are fortunate enough to be able to participate in activities to the extent that their interests and work ethic will allow. However, the reality for some of our students is that their life circumstances do not provide them the same opportunities, for a variety of reasons that are frequently out of their control.
As we considered the tradition of Senior Recognition, our goal was and is to ensure that it is inclusive of every student in the program and allows every student to be celebrated equally. Senior Recognition is not celebrating the outcome of a competitive event, nor is it based on a student’s individual work ethic. There are other opportunities for this type of recognition at events such as the Senior Awards Ceremony and the Orchestra Spring Banquet. Senior Recognition is to celebrate all of our seniors for their commitment to orchestra for the past four years.
It is for these reasons that we initially asked for information that would allow all of the seniors to be celebrated in a similar way. When it was brought to our attention that this adjustment to the process was of concern to some, we arrived at the compromise to celebrate each senior’s proudest accomplishment from their time in high school. This allows students to shine, but allows us to help every senior do so in a way that can be inclusive of every student.
We certainly understand that not everyone will agree with our chosen way forward, or with our reasons for making this adjustment. However, we do hope that you can understand that this is done from a place of caring for all of the students, and with a sincere desire to create the more inclusive environment that so many have expressed a desire to see in the AHS Orchestra.
If you have continued concerns that you would like to discuss, please feel free to email me, and I will be happy to call or set up a time to meet in person to discuss this further as soon as can be arranged. We appreciate your time, and for your support through what we know has been a year of change. Thank you.