We are an increasingly diverse, vibrant, and exciting school district. We are also a district that prides itself on relationships, connectedness, and giving love. As we move forward together, I have seen and would further invite that inclusion and equity are also quickly at the forefront of our hearts, minds, and actions.
Our current events have had us bear witness to a horrible act in the death of George Floyd. That act is a microcosm of the real and systemic challenges of racism we face as a country. As such, we need to not only combat racism but to be anti-racist. To this point, we have done work in the district-specific to training related to concepts of bias, equity, and inclusion. We have also added time to a position focused on aligning and organizing our equity work and have committees at several of our schools engaging families in inclusion and equity conversations. We are also working on a strategic plan, that at its center, is a more inclusive and equitable school district. Those are important starting points and at the same time, we can and must do more.
Moving forward we need additional intentionality in connecting with racially and/or ethnically diverse students, families, and staff members to better understand their needs in order to be healthy and successful. For those who are already successful, by any definition we deem to be appropriate, we need to learn from them as well. We also need to engage in further self-reflection on the role each of us plays in raising children who understand important realities of privilege, social justice, and the impacts of racism.
Raising healthy kids is most likely to happen in a healthy system. An indicator to me of an increasingly healthy system is one that creates space to discuss what is authentically happening for students of color and other traditionally underserved groups and takes specific action to be different and better for students, families, and staff. This will involve listening, discussing, relationship-building, and at least as importantly, a commitment to continue to examine ourselves, our policies, and our practices, with a willingness to make changes, for improvement.
We have work to do in this regard and we are committed to improving. Thank you for continuing to join us on this important journey.
Dr. Brad Buck