Last week, Noble Schools took a pause to allow teachers and staff to reflect on the first quarter, make plans, and get more training to better support our students. Students were out of the buildings as staff spent the week prepping for second quarter and attending professional development sessions.

During the all-staff opening session, our CEO Constance Jones acknowledged the challenges we’ve had and reiterated the commitments we aim to achieve this year:

“Well, in this first quarter of school, we have seen our share of challenges. When we set out to redefine Noble using an antiracist lens last year, we anticipated some of what might come – the huge challenge of returning to full-time in-person school and all the adjustments that would require, wrapped in the context of a global pandemic. There were things we couldn’t predict a city, and our country as a whole, dealing with an upswing in trauma and inequities across the board, a political battle between our city leaders, a complete leadership transition at Chicago Public Schools, and the increase of violence across our city and communities.”

However, despite the struggles, Jones clarifies that we have made progress and we will not give up or sacrifice our values:

“Our commitment to anti-racism doesn’t mean that we are not accountable. But to be clear, we are not going back to demerits or any similar quick and swift approach.

“…we cannot forget for a second the reason why we’re here and the larger challenge we’re trying to solve. And, while I acknowledge and own each and every one of the ways we can and must be better, the bar isn’t perfection. It can’t be. It’s progress. And we have made progress, but we still find ourselves faced with imperfection.”

View the full speech from Jones and the rest of the opening session, including words from the principal of Johnson College Prep, Jonas Cleaves, and our Interim Director of Academics, Lyndsay Cowles, below:

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