Continued Focus on Doing the Right Thing
As we look back at 2019/2020 and forward to 2020/2021, we can’t help but feel the effect of the happenings in the world around us. From the COVID-19 virus to protesting social inequalities in our county and around the world, life, as always, continues to make a lasting impact on CV. We are working on a re-opening plan for the upcoming school year that not only focuses on the health and safety of our faculty, staff and students, but also on a robust educational program that includes equitable opportunities for all.
One of the characteristics of CV that drew me to the District three years ago was the level of diversity of the students. CV has the third most diverse student population in the county behind the School District of Lancaster and Columbia School District. As our district becomes increasingly diverse, we must challenge ourselves to ensure that our community members are valued and respected.
One of our focus areas going into the summer was to be on equity. We were planning to take our first formal steps on that pathway by having a number of CV educators and School Board members attend the Educational Equity Summit 2020 in August at IU #13. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the summit has unfortunately been cancelled. What has not been cancelled, however, is our desire to listen, learn and understand more completely what it is like to “walk in another’s shoes.”
Our study of equity seeks to analyze how students in our educational system may encounter barriers based on sex, race, ethnicity, religion or socioeconomic status. I came to CV with a mantra of “every child, every day.” That has not changed. There will be a trusted adult in the life of every child, every day, without exception. As a District, we are constantly working to improve. We all come from different places, different beliefs, different experiences. As we continue to grapple with the many inequities being highlighted on a national level, my vision is to collaborate with school stakeholders on the issue of equity and build even stronger opportunities for achievement and growth among our students.
To this end, in the fall, I will be forming a committee called the Equity Working Group. I will be seeking participation and input from Board members, faculty and staff, and students and parents, to develop focus areas with natural sub-groups developing, appropriate for various grade levels and/or topics. In the very broadest of ideas, the group will address inequity with regard to our under-represented students, to develop ideas and programs that encourage a listen/learn/act mentality, and to create on-going communication with all stakeholders. I am convinced that this initiative will have a positive impact our educational programs, while making our school community an even safer, more inviting, and more unified educational family. CV will continue to always stand for, and with, our students.