A school specifically intended for BIPOC students will be opening its doors in Portland, Oregon with the aim of “decentering whiteness.”
The Holla Public Charter School, set to open in the fall of 2022, will be fully funded by Oregon tax dollars.
The mission of the school is “To change the academic narrative of Black, Brown and Indigenous youth by honoring lived experiences, catalyzing genius and centering joy; To explore student identities, nurture their curiosity, ignite their criticality and orient them in the world; To systematize the use of a comprehensive anti-racist, culturally and historically responsive instructional framework that centers literacy and relationships through mentoring, entrepreneurship and acknowledging the contributions of our community.”
The school will be “specifically for BIPOC students,” according to local news source KGW and is running “in effort to make a space specifically for BIPOC students where they feel seen, heard and their experiences are reflected in curriculum.”
The school’s mission statement says it will “chance the academic narrative of Black, Brown, and Indigenous youth by honoring lived experiences, catalyzing genius and centering joy,” as well as “systematize the use of a comprehensive anti-racist, culturally and historically responsive instructional framework that centers literacy and relationships through mentoring, entrepreneurship and acknowledging the contributions of our community.”
The school will serve grades K-2 and aims to ultimately serve grades K-5.
It says it will hire staff “reflective of our student demographics while simultaneously creating an environment and community reflective of their lived experiences and culture.”
“HOLLA School will intentionally decenter whiteness in the curriculum, policies, and culture of the school,” the school states.
“HOLLA is partnering with the Reynolds School District in building an educational space where Black, Brown and Indigenous people are able to come together and build a unique school community,” read a November press release. “HOLLA School will work symbiotically with the Reynolds School District to advance and actualize our shared vision and values for our local community including goals we share with the district related to anti-racism and student achievement,” they continue.
School director Eric Knox previously said that “The HOLLA School is a major way we will unapologetically advocate and celebrate our Black and Brown babies. It is a school that will allow youth to step into greatness.
“We all know the effects of gentrification, the pandemic, the glaring racial injustice and the worsening inequities that have exacerbated achievement and opportunity gaps, and our Black kids in our district and community have been hit the hardest. HOLLA is an utterance – a call and response cultural tradition that invokes invitation and participation. If HOLLA is the call, then the