Rick Surrency Letter

Dear PCSD Students, Parents, and Employees,

I want to take this opportunity to let you know that the Putnam County School District stands with our students, families, employees, and our entire community in grieving the recent tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and others across our nation. The lives lost because of racist beliefs and structural injustice are unacceptable, and I share in the pain, frustration, anger, and confusion that our students and community are experiencing.

The Putnam County School District will not tolerate racist actions of any kind, and we must work together to support our young people and create a safe learning environment for students and employees.

Our school district has a responsibility to ensure that our students have places of refuge where they can find support, experience respect, and feel included and accepted. It is in our community’s interest that we continue working to create a school system that promotes equity and inclusion as well as celebrates the joy of learning and provides every student the opportunity to meet his or her potential. While we have made some progress as a district, I realize we still have much work to do. 

Our students deserve to grow up in a culture of mutual respect, justice, and fairness. The work of building this culture for our students happens in our school classrooms and extends into homes, places of worship, government entities, and community organizations. Right now our students are missing out on classroom opportunities to process recent events with their teachers, classmates, counselors, and school leaders. My commitment to you as Superintendent is that we will make plans for the 2020-2021 school year with this in mind. 

For our students and their parents who need some assistance, we have mental health counseling available for our students throughout this summer by calling 386-329-0538 (Monday through Thursday) and asking to be connected to counseling services.

As our community grapples with recent events and seeks to find meaning and create change, I encourage you to be a good listener, be open to differing perspectives, and engage in conversations with one another. I am open to your ideas and willing to listen. As educators and adult role models for our students, we all need to be thoughtful about the higher standard set by our community for our actions and words. Join me in creating students in our school district who demonstrate kindness, peace, and empathy. 

Thank you for looking out for each other and please stay safe.

Rick Surrency