June 4, 2020
Dear Staff, Parents, Guardians, and Members of Our Community,

The death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers, one of many in our country’s long history of injustice based on race, has gripped the nation. The emotional expressions by millions on social media and in the proverbial public square reflect the stark reality that there are still mountains to move and institutions to reshape to eliminate race-based inequities and eradicate racism in this country. Anger, frustration, distrust, and angst are valid emotions as many in our communities seek answers and demand change. And that change can’t happen until our whole society accepts that validity and the history behind it.

To this end, the Mequon-Thiensville School District, the Board of Education, school administrators, faculty, support staff, contracted service providers, and volunteers are committed to holding one another accountable for ensuring an intentional districtwide culture of equity. Together: 

  • We denounce racism.
  • We promote inclusion.
  • We cultivate diversity.
  • We foster a culture of belonging.

Mountains are not moved alone. We invite you to stand with us and grow a culture in which all students, all staff members, and all families belong. We each must demonstrate the change that is needed, particularly those of us who will never know what it is like to live as a person of color in America. In fostering a culture of belonging, we commit to building meaningful relationships with others by asking questions, listening to understand, and responding with empathy. 

The vision of the Mequon-Thiensville School District is each student, every time, empowered to succeed . Educational equity and fostering a culture of belonging are imperatives in our work to realizing this vision. The District’s board policies include Equity Non-Negotiables which live as the foundation of the systems, instruction, and programming used to support improved outcomes for our students. Our commitment to the success of each student is rooted in the ideals of equity, opportunity, and excellence for all.

We encourage those students and families who may be anxious or angry about recent local and national events, race relations, and racism in general, to connect with staff members in our school district who are here to support you. In MTSD, each of our schools employs a dedicated social emotional coach to provide leadership and guidance to our staff members, and who support our students and school families. 

Social Emotional Coaches focus on issues related to the:
  • Social acceptance of all students and families in our school community,
  • Emotional health of all students,
  • Development of tenacity and perseverance in our students and the staff who serves them, and
  • Cultivation of a climate and culture where equity and social justice is the standard by which all student-related decisions are made.

We must stand as allies in the fight against racism. As school district leaders, we will continue to grow a culture of belonging, break down barriers, and build systems to ensure educational equity. Together, we will cultivate an educational environment where each student, every time, is empowered to succeed .

In solidarity,
Matthew Joynt, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Shelley Burns
Board President
On Behalf of the Board of Education