November 15, 2016
We are one week removed from the national elections, and now is a good time to pause and reflect on our work together -- work that is grounded in mutual respect along with our on-going commitment to valuing diversity, equity and inclusion.
Our school communities are fully committed to building and sustaining learning environments where teachers, parents, and support staff achieve the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to unleash creativity and innovation in pursuit of our School Board's 2020 Vision and Mission for all of our students.
To that end, individual school diversity teams comprised of parents, students and staff, as well as the Diversity Advisory Committee continually review the district's efforts to provide all students with full access to the following: equity of educational opportunity; individual empowerment; and, equal and fair treatment.
We have a unique opportunity in this present climate to use teachable moments to address disharmony and challenge we face as a community. Our teachers are to be commended for providing students with the space and safe environments to question what they are hearing in the media and in other places. Many are champions in their individual efforts to extend learning opportunities around School Board Fundamental 7, which requires us to foster and embrace diversity, inclusiveness, and equity with a focus on respect and acceptance of every student.
Valuing diversity embodies inclusion, mutual respect, and multiple perspectives. In this context, we are mindful of all aspects of human identities, such as socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, language, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religious/spiritual beliefs and values, geography, mental and physical disability and age.
Building on the rich cultural history, traditions, and diversity of our region, we continue our efforts to create educational opportunities and school environments that are inclusive, empathetic, celebratory and respectful of our individual and collective differences.
Inclusion is a core requirement for successfully embracing diversity. It is achieved by intentionally creating opportunities for involvement, participation and growth for all stakeholders.
Equity also requires us to strive for fairness and justice in the way people are treated within our schools. Our goal is to create school climates that foster respect, belonging, and value for all students, while encouraging participation and connection throughout all of our programs.
This work is not a destination in and of itself; rather, it is a learning journey that requires every one of us, and the entire community, region and nation to come together in respecting and valuing every member of our human race.