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April 29, 2019

Strengthening our commitment to equity and inclusion 
Last week, Superintendent Clint Christopher opened the School Board meeting by sharing some personal remarks to the community that addressed the need for better communication and transparency in the district's equity work. His remarks preceded an extended Open Forum during which many community members voiced their anger, hurt, frustration, and concern over racial incidents in the district.

During the board meeting, Asst. Superintendent Amy LaDue provided an update on ongoing equity work within the district, which includes the following:
  • A draft of the district's Equity Action Framework will be completed on May 3. The draft will be finalized and adopted by an Equity Advisory Council. An associated action plan will be developed to put the equity vision and framework to practice and provide both timelines and expected outcomes.
  • This spring, Dr. Muhammad Khalifa, a University of Minnesota professor, will start a districtwide equity audit. The audit will include an analysis of student achievement and discipline data, a review of district policies and practices, as well as information gathered from students, parents and staff. This will help identify priority areas to address, recommendations, and benchmarks for goal-setting and accountability.
  • The district is identifying action steps to diversify staff through accelerating our recruitment and retention efforts.
  • The district has reposted what was originally an equity coordinator position and is now the Director for Equity and Inclusion. View posting HERE.
  • Consultant Stan Alleyne will support focused equity and inclusion work with Chaska High School administration, staff, and students, and then broaden these efforts to district leadership. Through that work, we will begin changing the culture and climate to be more transparent, open to diversity and willing to adapt to and embrace diverse students and families.
Invitation to get involved  
Our district is forming an Equity Advisory Council to provide direction and leadership as well as to serve as a lens to E. Carver Co. Schools to implement change. The council will help develop broad ownership of the work to become a more welcoming, culturally competent and equitable district. If you are interested in serving on the Equity Advisory Council, please express your interest HERE . Deadline for submitting a statement of interest is Friday, May 3, at noon. Membership will be determined collaboratively by the superintendent and a group of community members.