Fifth and Sixth Grade Rondo Field Trip

Equity, equality and institutional racism are all key aspects of our ongoing studies here at Friends School.  With that in mind, the fifth and sixth grade students went on a field trip to visit the historically Black and immigrant neighborhood of Rondo to learn about its history, how it was affected by the construction of Highway 94, and what is being done today to recover that history and community unity.

The students visited the Rondo Plaza where they were able to deepen their knowledge of the families and businesses that were affected by the construction of the highway. Students then spent some time on the walking bridge as Mike, their humanities teacher, led them in a discussion asking ‘How are these homes affected by this highway?’ Students shared their observations of the loud noise, pollution from the passing cars, and challenges of walking to school with the fast moving traffic. 

What could be done to restore this community? The Rondo community is proposing a land bridge. The Rondo land bridge would cap Interstate 94 for several blocks, between Chatsworth Street and Grotto Street. The students spent time designing and planning what could be included in the land bridge, an idea that is being explored to restore what was lost in the original construction.

Learning about this neighborhood gives the students a deeper understanding of the topics they’ve been studying and how action of the past – housing covenants, redlining – continue to affect Black people today.  It will be a point of reference we will return to often in our history studies and our work in CORE classes (Conversations Ongoing about Race and Equity).

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