Dear Northgate Community,

As many of you know, following the shooting in Florida, high school students across the country have been planning walkouts on the one month anniversary of the tragedy, Wednesday, March 14. Here at Northgate, a diverse set of students have worked to organize a gathering wherein those killed can be honored and voices advocating change in policy can be heard.

 As I have sat with these students to offer both support and guidance in this First Amendment process I’ve been impressed with their integration of our 5Cs into their work: they are communicating, critically thinking, creating, collaborating, and connecting in ways that are at once inspiring and impactful. To this end, I want our students to feel both safe and supported as they “Walk-Out” to our blacktop with faculty and staff, on Wednesday, shoulder to shoulder, walking with them out to the blacktop for a 17-minute commemoration. With this said, any students who decide to leave the campus will be considered truant. Please communicate these points to your students.

 The District is supporting this student-led effort and has sanctioned our schedule adjustment. While I am not typically in favor of shortening classes, this may be among the great lessons in civic participation in which our students can participate. Classes will be adjusted in order to accommodate our gathering. The bell schedule for this Wednesday is as follows:

  • A.)    7:00 – 7:50 (50)
  • 1.)    7:55 – 8:38 (43)
  • 2.)    8:43 – 9:26 (43)
  • 3.)    9:31 – 10:14 (43)
  • Br & Walk-Out) 10:14 – 10:56 (42)
  • 4.)    11:01 – 11:44 (43)
  • 5.)    12:24 – 1:07 (43)
  • 6.)    1:12 – 1:55 (43)

Students not wishing to participate in the Walk-Out will be offered a place to congregate.

Again, the other administrators and I have been working with the student organizers to ensure that we have a safe place to grieve and register student concerns in an organized way. Thank you, as always, in helping us support what is best for our students. We live, as the Chinese proverb says, “… in interesting times.” For us to guide our students appropriately, with both care and compassion, is our job. To this end, serving this effort with each of you continues to be an honor.

 Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

 Michael G. McAlister


Northgate High School

925-938-0900, ex. 3500

Twitter: @NorthgateHS

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