Dear Somerville Public Schools Community,
As new information about the future of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program), also known as the Dream Act, makes its way into the homes and businesses in our communities we felt it was important to reaffirm our commitment to every child—and young adult—in our district, regardless of their immigration status, and to reiterate the core values that serve as the foundation of our work in the Somerville Public Schools and the City at large. Yesterday’s announcement from the White House regarding the administration’s decision to formally end DACA in 6 months may impact an estimated 800,000 young individuals living, contributing, and pursuing their dreams in our communities. Among them are many in Somerville who have known no other home than the United States and now face a very uncertain future.
We believe that every child that walks through our doors, and every young adult in our community, has the right to dream. As public educators, we have the ethical and legal obligation to provide every student in our district with a high-quality education. As civil servants, we likewise strive to foster a climate of opportunity and respect for all in our community. We embrace the rich diversity – in all its forms – that makes Somerville such an exceptional community, and are fully committed to respecting and celebrating our differences. We believe that every student we serve deserves the opportunity to learn and grow in a safe environment free from fear or persecution. We believe that human dignity is the thread that unites us as a community and makes us stronger.
Like these young people pursuing their dreams, we are all dreamers, with hopes and visions for a better future … for ourselves, for our families, and for our communities. We will continue to fight for human dignity, and for the rights of all who walk through our hallways and, as our neighbors, are woven into the fabric of our community. We will do so regardless of their immigration status, race, color, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identification. It is the just and right thing to do.
Our commitment to every one of our students is unwavering. Our commitment to every one of our residents remains resolute. We appreciate your trust and your commitment to Somerville youth and your community, and we assure you that we will continue to do all we can to provide every student in our district with every opportunity to learn, grow, and dream.
Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and Mary Skipper, Superintendent of Schools
PLEASE NOTE: Current DACA recipients whose DACA status expires between now and March 5, 2018, can obtain a two-year renewal if they file a renewal application that is accepted by the federal government by October 5, 2017. Somerville-based DACA participants who need assistance with filing their renewal forms, or referrals to free legal assistance, legal clinics, and workshops, are encouraged to contact the City's SomerViva Immigrant Outreach and Service Program and/or the Somerville Public Schools Parent Information Center. SomerViva can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-625-6600 x2122. The Parent Information Center can be reached at x2962.