RL Day #40: QHSLS Unites Against Racism

Message from Assistant Principal Mr. Bligh:

Today is our day of unity against racism! Our teachers worked incredibly hard to put five lessons together for our students. We recommend completing today’s lessons in the following order:

  1. Understanding Implicit Bias
  2. From Emmett Till to Amy Cooper 
  3. Identifying Logical Fallacies
  4. Protesting for Change
  5. Anti-racist Action

Use these lessons as a starting point for deeper learning, self-reflection, and increased conversation. And, we encourage you to share your reflections in the open circles on Tuesday and Wednesday at 3PM and 6PM.

I want to share with you an “a-ha” moment I had two years ago. One of my favorite podcasts, American History Tellers, told the story of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. In the early 20th century, Tulsa, Oklahoma was home to one of the most prosperous black communities in the entire country. On May 31, 1921, false accusations made by a white woman against a young, black man led white Tulsans to viciously attack black Tulsans. As a result, as many as 300 black Tulsans were murdered and more than 1,400 black-owned businesses and homes were destroyed. 

Learning about this, I was sickened and horrified by the brutal violence committed against black Tulsans and the complete lack of justice. However, there was something else that haunted me. Despite studying American history for decades, why was I hearing about this historic event only now? 

Learning about this one event ignited a fire. The more I read and researched, the more I wanted to teach my students and educate my family and friends about these untold stories.  I realized that in teaching this silenced history, I was taking an anti-racist stance. 

This is all to say that my hope for you is that today’s lessons will ignite a similar fire. I encourage you to find at least one topic that interests you and begin learning more about it. The lessons today are not an isolated gesture to respond to the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent protests. Rather, today is a first step in empowering us all in taking our own anti-racist stances. 

Best, Mr. Bligh

Recognizing Black lives matter and supporting our students in this difficult time

The events of this past week have been horrifying and tragic. And they have been made even more difficult because we cannot physically be together as a school community. 

Instead, we have had to watch and react to the violent death of George Floyd–yet another black life taken unjustly and unnecessarily–in our own spaces. Then, the subsequent protests that have erupted across our nation and in NYC, against the injustice of George Floyd’s death as well as the many other acts of racism and brutality in recent weeks, are intersecting with the tragedy and stress caused by this pandemic.
It has been hard not being together with you all. I find my own optimism and hope through you, our students and faculty. And I have to remind myself: we are still a school, even if we don’t have a building. 

In the coming days, we will begin hosting various meetings for our entire QHSLS community to gather virtually. I wish we could have these conversations in person. But given what we have, I encourage any member of our community to join in: to share, to listen, or simply to be present together. These meetings are optional. In addition, do not hesitate to contact our faculty if you need other types of support. We recognize how individual our responses to this week’s events may be. In addition, if you would like to offer a suggestion, or perhaps if you would like to lead or contribute in this effort to stay connected, let us know. We welcome and appreciate you.

In unity, Melanie Lee, Principal (May 31, 2020)

Tuesday 6/2, 4PM: #SayTheirNames Remembrance. Watch the ceremony, led by our students, here.

Tuesday, 6/2, 6PM (English) and Wednesday 6/3, 3PM and 6PM (English and Chinese): Open circles. Students are welcome to join: to be together with other students, to share and bear witness to each other’s experiences, to listen.

Students should check their emails for more information.

Parent Meeting Dates, QHSLS Remote Learning Block #6 Updates, and May Calendar

Virtual Parent Meeting: Monday, May 18, 2020 @ 6:30PM via Zoom. This meeting addresses the DOE’s new grading policy for Remote Learning. Slides in English, Chinese, and Spanish are here.

An updated FAQ (5/18/2020) for Remote Learning is located here.

College Application and Financial Aid Planning Virtual Parent Meeting, Wednesday, May 27, 2020 @ 6:30PM. Junior parents should plan to attend this important meeting! Sign-up here. Sophomore and freshmen parents welcome. Simultaneous translation in Mandarin and Spanish will be provided.

Now that the DOE has approved the use of Zoom again, we will be meeting using this platform. Please download Zoom to your device.

Watch a short video message from Principal Lee, Ms. Zhao (中文, 2:36), and Ms. Umanzor (español, 4:42) to start this next block and the second half of Remote Learning!

May 2020 Calendar (updated 5/5/2020) Students, see due dates for assignments. Parents, see when grades will be updated in Pupilpath.

Updated Office Hours and Teacher Availability: Stay connected! Don’t hesitate to ask teachers and counselors for one-on-one or small group support.

If you need support with technology for Remote Learning, email tech@qhsls.org with your issue.

NYC Food Assistance. Grab and Go meals are available for any NYC resident from 7:30AM-1:30PM. Flushing Campus is back as a distribution site! Please go to the Flushing HS student entrance off of Northern Blvd. Or, text “food” or “comida” to 877-877 or search here for locations near you. For support finding a food pantry near you or with food delivery, go here.