Next Steps for AMHS

June 19, 2020

Dear Members of the Archbishop Mitty Community,

On June 12, we sent out a communication in response to the conversation started on social media by Black alumni and alumni of color who described their high school experience as marred by instances of discrimination. Today we would like to extend that response.

This matter is a priority for Archbishop Mitty High School, and we commit to addressing our areas of blindness that have led to feelings of sadness, disappointment, anger, and separation for some of our students and their families. We are deeply sorry for any harm we, or members of the larger community have caused, unwittingly or otherwise. We ask for you forgiveness and also your support in our efforts to make our campus an anti-racist and anti-discriminatory institution that affirms and supports all of its students.

We are grateful to the brave alumni, students, and parents of color who have come forth to share their own painful experiences of implicit bias, cultural insensitivity, and racial discrimination on our campus. Their experiences have opened our eyes; however, we fully understand that being aware of the problem is only the first step in addressing it.

We are committed to taking concrete actions to address racism and other forms of discrimination at Archbishop Mitty High School. We write to share with you today the work that has been done and that we will continue to do to ensure meaningful, sustainable change at AMHS.

The areas of focus listed below have been grouped as either short-range (achievable by the start of school in August) or long-range (to be undertaken during the 2020-2021 school year and beyond). This categorization does not indicate a degree of importance for the initiative, simply an understanding of the time required to address the area of focus.

Short-Range Areas of Focus:

  • The existing Outreach Committee has been expanded to include representatives from our alumni, current parents, and faculty. Student representatives will be invited to join the committee in the fall. (To be completed by September 2020)

  • The school has retained ScholarVision Educational Consulting, led by Dr. Melina Johnson, to collaborate with the administration, Outreach Committee, and school community to identify initial action items and establish a strategic plan to address the issues impeding our institution’s ability to be an environment of equity and belonging.

  • Representatives from the Outreach Committee joined with representatives from ScholarVision Educational Consulting and the administration to conduct a series of listening sessions with alumni, current parents and current students to provide an opportunity for additional voices of community stakeholders to be heard. (To be completed by June 24, 2020)

  • The use of the n-word and other derogatory terms are not tolerated on campus, or in any affiliation with AMHS. Working with faculty, students, and parents, we will establish expectations and guidelines around the presence of such words within literature used in the classroom. (To be completed by September 2020)

  • The existing Work Study Program for financial aid recipients will be updated with a new form of accountability that does not stigmatize recipients of financial aid. Families and students will be informed of these changes prior to the start of the 2020-2021 school year. (To be completed by July 2020)

  • We will develop an online form students can access to confidentially report concerns about their AMHS experiences. Responses to this form will be reviewed by ScholarVision Educational Consulting and shared with administrators, the Diocese, and/or local authorities as appropriate. (Available to all current students in August 2020)

  • Beginning with the return to campus, AMHS will employ a new security firm that is aligned with our commitment to the safety and equitable treatment of our students and community members.

Long Range Initiatives (to be included in the strategic plan created by the Outreach Committee and shared with the AMHS community):

  • Require educational programs for all faculty, staff, and students to address topics such as racial injustice, implicit bias, and inclusive communication.

  • Review of current curriculum in all content areas to ensure a more comprehensive and culturally responsive course of study.

  • Expand recruitment sources that include more diverse candidates to create a pool of more culturally responsive teaching and counseling applicants.

  • Restructure administrative roles to provide greater support for the forthcoming strategic plan.

  • Review of student discipline policies and systems, including but not limited to the dress code, to ensure that our policies and expectations do not discount cultural customs and contribute to bias against any group.

  • Review of academic and non-academic counseling services provided by the school and outsourced to partner institutions to provide for culturally responsive support systems to meet the diverse needs of our particular student groups.

  • Explore the options for expanding the Outreach Office space to better reflect its true value on campus.

While not a comprehensive list, the information provided here is intended to be a starting point for a more comprehensive strategic plan that will be created in the coming weeks by our Outreach Committee. We will continue to communicate our progress and provide quarterly updates, including the completed strategic plan once it is finalized.  We will communicate through our parent, student, and alumni email distribution databases.  Alumni who wish to update their email addresses can do so by clicking here.

We are heartfelt in our desire to create and maintain an institution that is steeped in our Catholic values and committed to equity and belonging in order to ensure continuous growth.

In solidarity,

Tim Brosnan
President

Kate Caputo
Principal

Greg Walker
Director of Student Activities
AASU Moderator

Patsy Vargas
Outreach Coordinator
LASU Moderator


Monarch Competes in National Mathematics Competition

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Congratulations to junior Riley Kong, who won fifth place in the team category of the Math League national high school competition this month.  Riley’s accomplishment is particularly impressive because he did this as a team of one competing against teams with up to six students. Congratulations, Riley!


Red Sox Draft Monarch in First Round of MLB Draft

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Congratulations to senior Nick Yorke! Nick was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the first round this week. Read more in The Mercury News.


Monarchs Use 3D Printers to Assist Healthcare Workers

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Sophomore Owen Leather and junior Anish Agrawal have put their knowledge of 3D printing, learned as part of the robotics team, to practical use during the shelter-in-place orders. To date, they have manufactured more 1,400 printed parts for face shields needed to ensure the safety of doctors and nurses helping COVID-19 patients. 


Nonprofit Gives Online Presence to Local Businesses During Pandemic

May 30, 2020

Juniors Rayan Garg and Ishir Vaidyanath helped create Elevate the Future, a nonprofit that is pairing students with small business owners to help them develop an online presence, so they can stay afloat during the pandemic. 


Speech and Debate Students Qualify to Virtual Nationals

May 30, 2020

Members of the speech and debate team continue to use their voices to inspire change. Congratulations to the 16 students who qualified to compete in the virtual National Tournament in June. Best of luck at the competition!


Monarch Wins Lions Club Speech Contest

March 4, 2020

Congratulations to senior Kritika Yerrapotu, who recently won the San Jose Lions Club Student Speaker Contest and will advance to the next level of competition. This year, the speech topic was “Homelessness in California: What is the Solution?” Congratulations, and best of luck in the next round of competition.


Pianist Earns Spot in Junior Bach Festival

March 4, 2020

Congratulations to sophomore Riley Kong who was selected from a pool of 475 students to play piano at the Junior Bach Festival this month. Riley is being recognized for showing incredible musical maturity and skill. 


Monarchs Advance in National Mathematics Contest

March 4, 2020

Congratulations to the eight excellent mathematics students who took the national AMC Exam in February and qualified for the next round of competition, a three-hour test with 15 questions called the American Invitational Mathematics Exam which will be held later this month. Freshman Stewart Kwok, sophomores Karthik Iyer and Archish Ray, juniors Rachel Ryu, Issac Li, and Richard Wu, and seniors Shravan Parigi and Annika Sy qualified for the next exam. A special congratulations to Richard and Karthik, who scored among the top 1 percent of test takers in the first round of competition.


Speech and Debate Captures Record Number of Bids to State Championship

March 4, 2020

Congratulations to the Archbishop Mitty Speech and Debate Team for qualifying 45 Monarchs — the highest number of students in program history at this point in the competition season — to the State Championship in April. Good luck the rest of the way!