Letter from the Principal

Dear Madison Community,

Our school is dedicated to Creating a Culture of Caring. We know that not every students’ or parents’ experience is the same at Madison. The Black Lives Matter Movement has called us to confront the inequities that still exist in our schools. As Superintendent Brabrand and the FCPS School Board have highlighted, “… there are still many situations and instances of racism, hate, and oppression across our country, particularly for Black people. This cannot be ignored.”

We want to hear about your story and experience. We are dedicated to creating opportunities for students and parents to have a voice in the steps we take to improve Madison. All principals in the Madison Pyramid will also be providing opportunities to listen and hear from their students and parents.

Today, I sent an email to our students offering an opportunity for them to participate in Student Listening Groups. The purpose of these groups will be to listen and learn from our students. Our goal is to ensure diverse student perspectives and points of view are represented. Three sessions will be offered for students next week on June 17th.  Other opportunities will be provided for students who can not attend and students who prefer to respond in writing may do so in the google form they were provided. Questions that students are initially being asked to consider are:

  • What is the student experience at JMHS?
  • How can we foster a culture of anti-racism at JMHS?
  • How can we ensure every student feels valued?
  • How can we provide every student a voice?
  • How can we foster student wellbeing at JMHS?
  • How can students and adults collaborate to improve our school?

For parents who are interested in sharing their experiences, we want to provide a variety of options. We know that depending on work schedules, child care, comfort level, etc… Parents have preferences for how they prefer to communicate and manage their time. As a starting point, we welcome parents who would like to engage in this discussion to complete this google form. This google form will help us identify who wants to share in this important dialogue and the preference for having this discussion.  Once we have collected this information, we can then begin reaching out.Normally, we would not be asking students or parents to be staying connected to us over the summer months; however, we feel this is critical in our efforts to make sure every Madison student feels, valued, included, and loved.

Conversations and dialogue are just the first steps to taking meaningful, thoughtful action. We are committed as a Madison administration and staff to make meaningful changes that are systemic and impactful.

Thank you for joining me in this journey.

Gregory S. Hood, Principal
James Madison High School
2500 James Madison Drive
Vienna, Virginia  22181
Phone:  703-319-2311
Email: gshood@fcps.edu
Website: http://www.fcps.edu/MadisonHS/