Each month, Parents and Allies of BMPA gather to meet and discuss our current initiatives in support of our mission and goals.  You do NOT need to be a parent of a minority child to join these meetings — all Allies who are interested in achieving our common goals are welcome to participate.

While these meetings are typically in person, due to COVID-19, we have temporarily moved to a Zoom meetings format.  Please feel free to register to attend the next BMPA Open Planning Meeting here.

Below are the minutes from our Open Planning Meeting that was held on August 17th, 2020.

Financial Update

BMPA is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and through donations and fundraising efforts. Our current budget is $170.31. Through events like our Chipotle fundraiser this past January, we were able to provide two $1,000 scholarships to graduating Bexley high school seniors this spring. There are no additional updates at this time.


New BMPA Website

Nate Riggs has helped us to develop a brand new website and we previewed it earlier this month. It looks phenomenal and has a lot of new functionalities, like sending e-newsletters, a blog with updates, an updated email process that follows current legal guidelines for mailing lists, etc. It will really help us improve our communications and connect with our members.

Community Outreach

Police Listening Sessions

Jonathan/Manika/Bryan/Courtney – meeting this week and then will push details out to the community. Another psychologist/counselor (African American male) is on board from Franklin County.

Children’s Program

India planned a September 4 park play date as well as a kickball game at Jeffrey Park (for Welcome Back week; large space will allow us to distance), and is setting up a children’s trip to the Fire Museum in September. She will share additional updates about these events in our group. Art with Anna is also hosting another free virtual event in September (27th) and has generously donated supplies for BMPA families who are interested in participating.

Teacher Recruitment Fair

Bryan will lead this as it is an opportunity for prospective individuals to talk with teachers, alumni, and community members and get an idea of the environment in Bexley and Bexley City Schools. Part of what BMPA does is outreach and provide support to teachers and staff who are interested in being part of the school system. Will need to work out details about the event format with social distancing, etc.


Bryan explained that this is an opportunity to spotlight teachers and community members, possibly a new family that has moved to Bexley recently, etc. He will let the group know once we have more details. The newsletter will be a communication effort to explain what BMPA is doing and how we are helping others.

Bexley Minority Alumni Group

Bryan met with this group last week and discussed how they can come together to work with our current Bexley students through a mentoring program.

Culture and Conversation Series – Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15 through October 15; Monique L and others will be planning a virtual event. Last week, Monique and Bryan met over Zoom with several other Bexley residents (from Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, and more) and they discussed different events they will put together for Hispanic Heritage Month. Stay tuned for more details in September, as they are excited to share their culture with Bexley.

Asian American Group Update

Akisa was able to connect with Bexley students who are Asian and discussed the stigma with being Asian in the U.S. and in Ohio in general, how they are culturally very different from those not born in the U.S. and not always connected to their Asian roots, which can be difficult. Adult support is needed for these students/children to help guide them and help them connect more to their Asian heritage/culture. Akisa will be working with other contacts; if you know of any families or students who are Asian (possibly adopted, too), she is happy to connect with them as well.

Bryan: 1.8% of Bexley residents identify as Asian, per the 2019 U.S. Census

City Council Update

Jen (City Council Liaison for BMPA) – DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) amendments to strategic plan brought to the council by Monique, was unanimously voted in. Standards and action plans to make sure that Bexley is holding itself accountable with this new DEI language. In the next meeting, there will be an ordinance discussed that will recognize Juneteenth as a city holiday, being mindful and attentive to this moment, and doing what we can to rise in the time that we are given. Charter amendments are not being considered due to it being an election year, but can be next spring, at the earliest, or possibly next fall, when it does occur. Excited to come together as a community to celebrate something that is so important to our history.

Minority Scholars Program

Kate/Jess – History about program (established by one of Kate’s teachers in her home city/state in Montgomery County, MD, and has expanded to many other schools and is starting to expand to other states, including Westerville, which is considering it for its school district as well). Program is completely student-oriented and students initially come together to share with each other (in a safe space) what is important to them. It can be a place where educators can talk to the students about the achievement/opportunity gap, can also be a place for students to provide academic support for AP/honors classes, support students with mental health, to socialize and connect with one another, etc.

Original program even has an internship program and has teachers who has discussions/leads discussions about that. BARP members were invited to see this (including Kaia W.) and see how the group had led a protest and a march, set up an Instagram account, etc. and discussed future plans with the County. Jonathan, Jess, Bryan and others also were able to see what the program is about and how we might be able to set up something similar in Bexley. Could be a resource that we can develop if we have teacher and district buy-in from BCS. Link to program: https://www.minorityscholars.org/.

Link to short article written about Mr. Michael Williams in the Washington Post

WiFi Community Project

Bryan – Bexley Public Library is stepping into this arena. If you know anyone who needs WiFi for their students, there is a group getting together on a regular basis to make certain that we get all Bexley students the support they need and necessary access.

Capital U Mentoring Program

Bryan reached out to Capital U about a mentoring program, and they have given us a connection that we shared on our Facebook page. They won’t be returning to campus until mid-September, but many students are interested in tutoring/helping our families. Info about requesting tutoring assistance or mentorship is available on the Capital University Education page on Facebook.

If you select the “send message” option on that page, they will post your tutor request online for you. There are similar posts on the group page already if you want to see any examples.

Bexley School District

Introduction to Bexley Teachers/Staff

Bryan/BMPA thanked teachers and staff for coming out this evening and sharing everything they are doing.

Mark Frank, Bexley Middle School math teacher, said he was ready to meet students and to work with them in whatever context, and that he couldn’t wait to start the year.

Thea Barbour-Harms, 2nd grade teacher at Maryland, had the same message of being excited to work with kids again and get back to school, and that they also can’t wait to start reading books donated to the kids from Harper’s Corner. 2nd grade at Maryland has committed to participating in Classroom Book-A-Day, a program where elementary school teachers commit to reading at least one picture book to their students a day (typically read several more). Books are all related to a similar theme/idea and there are questions that teachers can ask of their students. 2nd and 3rd grade at Maryland are focusing all of their books on diversity for this program. Students can read the books virtually, have it read aloud to them, there are bitmoji classrooms set up for the entire school year, whether we are at school in person or not, all kids will have access. Will be having discussions this week with Leisan Smith and some members of the task force about some issues that have occurred this summer, as well as how to be an ally and anti-racist work.

Racquel Armstrong, new assistant principal for Bexley City Schools – a lot happening across the district, and from the leadership team and across the various levels of the district, people are engaging in the aforementioned work (voluntarily over the summer, individually, reading books in groups about anti-racism, etc.)

Leisan Smith, director of student and community engagement for the district – echoing that the district is committed to furthering this work, people are excited about this work and know the large undertaking that it is to do social-emotional work and diversity work. More district updates:

  • Had 245 books delivered from Harper’s Corner donation. Teachers are already coming with creative ideas to make sure students are intentionally engaged with these books. Leadership is sharing the message with our staff that we are working to be an anti-racist school district.
  • School climate committee will be helping Leisan, five presentations to be delivered in the next week about expectations and how we can hold ourselves accountable moving forward (professional development). Voluntary PD for teachers first two weeks in August, and Leisan facilitated a session on micro-aggressions that was very well-attended (54 staff). Already planning for November PD, scheduled to have Dr. Hasan Jeffries come in.
  • Has also met with an Dr. Cynthia Tyson (African American woman faculty) from OSU (teaching for social justice, early childhood studies and multicultural literature), with relevant expertise: she shared that we need to really understand what is making teachers nervous about incorporating this into the classroom, so it isn’t a purely performative endeavor. Okay to be nervous and uncomfortable, but still important to engage in these conversations and do the work.
  • Principals have been discussing how to be more proactive about behavior and inappropriate behavior about racism, transphobia, etc. Want to do a better job of that this year in being more proactive and calling out unacceptable behavior. Assistant principals have put together a video for students, and teachers will have extended homeroom at the secondary level to engage students in those conversations. Working with middle school principal to review bullying documentation principles, to make sure we are correctly capturing the data.
  • Continuing to meet with the Bexley Anti-Racism Project (has met twice now), trying to navigate that along with the start of school. In the middle of putting together a diversity, equity and inclusion task force – emails have gone out and individuals have committed to being a part of it, first meeting will be at the beginning of September. Looking at creating an equity audit to compile data about where we are as a district and what next steps should be.

Diverse Books – Harper’s Corner / Grant Proposal

Bryan – thank you to Harper’s Corner for the donation, will be working on a grant proposal to get more books soon

Elementary School Coordinators

Bryan – we will have school coordinators from BMPA, still working on finalizing the details as far as what they will be responsible for. Each of the schools will have a representative who will be a liaison from BMPA. Meeting set up on Thursday of this week to discuss details and will share that info with the district once things are set.

New Resident Orientation

Tiasha – new family info/school starting info below:

  • When will the school year start?
    • The first day for students will be Monday, August 24. By August 20th, teachers will be sending homeroom classes information about when and how to log in to the first Zoom of the year. For our younger students, this information will be emailed to parents. For our older students, parents and students will receive the information.
  • When will I know my child’s teacher?
    • We will email information to each family at the end of the day on August 14th. We will notify you of your child’s homeroom teacher as well as the hybrid group your child will be in if we are able to move to a hybrid model later in the school year.
  • How will my student get their school supplies, books, etc.?
    • Our elementary students will have a supply pickup on August 20th and 21st. Every student will have something to pick up whether it be workbooks, school supplies, assignment notebooks, etc. so it is important that parents and students come in on these days to pick up materials. We ask that you follow the schedule below so that we can have their materials ready when they arrive.
      • Grades K, 1, 2: Thursday, August 20 from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. or Friday, August 21 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
      • Grades 3, 4, 5: Thursday, August 20 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. or Friday, August 21 from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.
    • If you have children in multiple grades, please select one time to pick up these items. Please come to the following locations for each elementary building:
      • Cassingham: ramps at the entrance to the Cassingham playground along Elm Street
      • Maryland: Maryland basketball courts by the gym
      • Montrose: parking lot/gymnasium entrance on the Remington Road side of Montrose Elem.
    • Students and parents will need to wear masks and ensure they are symptom-free before picking up materials.
    • We expect that students will still need the same supplies this school year regardless of the mode of learning.
    • You can find the school supply lists here:
      • Cassingham: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ka7mixbkEiALZ0x0MGYFI6z3YdQBQgVrQfP5Zxjwz88/edit?usp=sha ring (The pricing included here pertains to our pre-order in the spring, not current market pricing of items)
      • Maryland: https://www.bexleyschools.org/Downloads/Maryland%20School%20Supply%20Lists%20by%20Grade%20202 0-21.pdf
      • Montrose: https://www.bexleyschools.org/Downloads/Montrose%20School%20List%202020-2021.pdf

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