A Statement from the Board of Education President, Joslyn Dalton

We Care Deeply – For our students, staff, and community.
A statement from the President of the Fairview Park Board of Education
Back on June 6 at our annual Board Retreat, with the help of our facilitator, Paul Pendelton, we created Norms of Operation for the Board. These norms are essentially the ground rules for us. We did some brainstorming and initially had around 30 norms. After some discussion we consolidated and eliminated. Then, through a nominal group technique, we voted and ended up with these 5 norms:
Board Leadership Team – Norms of Operations
1. KIDS FIRST – Remember why we are here
2. Be prepared/Ask questions/Over-share vs. Under-share/Keep learning
3. Respect others and their roles
4. Be responsive to the public/Maintain transparency
5. Be PROUD of Fairview (mindset)
We did not want to create these norms, publish them and then have it end there. We want to remind ourselves of these norms so we can be sure to “live” them each and every day. To help us be accountable, we will highlight a norm at each meeting. Today, we focus on:
1. KIDS FIRST – Remember why we are here
I think it’s obvious that this should be our first norm. During our process to establish the norms of operation, this norm was on everyone’s list.
We have a school district because of kids (students) and everything we do is for the students!
I want to take a few minutes to talk about all kids. Here at FPCS, we are dedicated to helping all kids equally. We know we have room for improvements when it comes to anti-racism, equality and equity in our education system. We, the BOE and FPCS condemn racism. We are taking time right now to learn individually and as a leadership team. We are committed to making changes and continuing to work on these important issues. We haven’t had a chance to talk about this openly as a team, but I have had individual conversations and we are all committed to learning, listening, making policy changes where needed, updating curriculum, and working to provide professional development. These changes will take time, but know that we are committed to them.
We intend to create a holistic plan of action for combating racism and promoting equity within the district. I would like to mention a few things that are either in the works already or are on our to do list:
Dr. Wagner is working to secure an outside facilitator to put together an extended task force to help us work on equity, all inclusiveness (Parma used “embrace all”). We need to have some open and honest conversations about these issues. These conversations need to include students, parents, community members, teachers, and administrators. We commit to having a public discussion about this.
An ESC Consultant will be conducting an Equity audit as part of her work with the district. The audit will include two key components:
1) Organizational Policies
Review and evaluate policies and procedures. (Anti-discrimination policies- race, ELL, disability, homelessness)
2) Key Indicator Assessment
Compare the representation of students impacted compared to their presence in the district or by comparing the rate or percentage of one group against another.
Programmatic Equity: Honors/AP Courses and Gifted Courses by race and socio-economic status
Treatment Equity: Office referrals and Discipline by race and socio-economic status
Achievement Equity: State achievement tests and graduation rate by race and socio-economic status
This audit will not be top down; it will include classroom teachers.
We are looking at our strategic plan to see where we can update and add specific goals and action items on anti-racism and equity.
We are looking at creating a district policy on Equity and Social Justice.
Our curriculum will be updated.
We will be providing professional development to our staff on on topics like racism and implicit bias.
This conversation is just beginning. We have a lot of work to do and we will do it. It will take all of us working together; helping each other to make the changes and improvements. We have seen the petition created by some of our students regarding our curriculum and we agree that we can do better. We will be counting on everyone, including our students to help us create the changes that will fight racial injustices and contribute to equality and equity.
I know these are a lot of words, but we promise there will be action taken to back them up. We need your help. We look forward to growing together and learning to help all students; after all, that is why we are here.
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