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AUSD is a Safe Haven District

posted Feb 28, 2017, 12:32 AM by AHS Webmaster
AUSD Parents, Students, & Community Members,

On February 14, 2017, the Albany Board of Education unanimously adopted Resolution 2016-17-13 - Recognition of AUSD As A Safe Haven School District. This resolution declares AUSD a safe Haven School District and our schools as sensitive locations under a 2011 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy. It affirms the right of undocumented children to a public education and ensures that our students are provided a safe educational environment, serving as a safe haven school district for students and families, threatened by immigration enforcement or discrimination, to the fullest extent provided by the law.

The resolution declares that, agents of ICE or any other immigration law enforcement agency, be directed to the Superintendent before they will be allowed on any of our campuses. I want to assure everyone that I will work carefully with legal counsel and fully vet any subpoena or court order before any decision is made to allow these officials onto our campuses. The resolution also states that the district will not collect any data regarding the immigration status of students or their families. Further, staff will not ask any student or their family about their immigration status. Let me assure you that we will not disclose personally identifiable information in a student's "educational records" to immigration officials without written parental consent, judicial order, or lawfully-issued subpoena.

I want to thank all the AUSD staff, parents, students, and community members who came to the School Board meeting on February 14th to support the Safe Haven School District resolution. A special thank you to the Albany Action Committee for attending the Board meeting and providing feedback and input on this resolution. Over the next few weeks, we will be writing Board policy in support of this resolution. We will notify the AUSD community when a draft of these policies will be brought to the Board of Education for review and discussion, and I encourage you to attend this meeting and provide your input.

To support our community, we have placed the following resources on a new Safe Haven School District section of our district website, and we are in the process of making these resources available in print. Printed copies will be found at all of our school sites, at the Albany public library, the Albany Community Center, the Albany Senior Center, the Albany Aquatics Center, and at Albany City Hall. 

Immigration Information & Resources which includes: 1) Undocumented Students and Families: The Facts; 2) Information and Resources for Immigrants; and 3) Know Your Rights Information. Click here to access this information on the AUSD website at www.ausdk12.org. 

We at AUSD join with our immigrant and refugee families during these unsettling times. As your Superintendent, I want to assure you that I will work closely with the City of Albany, local community organizations and businesses, the Alameda and Contra Costa County Offices of Education, and local and state politicians, to ensure our students and families are offered a protected space to learn. It is our diversity that makes us a proud community! It is our diversity that makes us a welcoming district! It is our diversity that makes us committed to promoting and elevating tolerance, inclusiveness, compassion, and kindness.

Thank you.

Val Williams, Superintendent
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