April 10, 2017 - This evening I wish to personally thank the board for your policy work related to equal access to instruction and equity of academic outcome for all students over the past several board work sessions and board meetings. Your passage this evening of policy JBB – Educational Equity and your resolution in support of all families, regardless of documented status, unequivocally states all are welcome and all are safe. Thank you all for keeping equity issues at the heart of board work sessions and for insisting that equity serve as a foundational value for our current district strategic plan. You model this value through your presence as students and staff present their equity work at the Oregon Leadership Network Conferences as well as engaging in challenging and courageous conversations with peers from across the state. You support our formative district work with the National Equity Project, which will expand the district’s Equity Cadre work to administrators, teachers and staff over the next two years.
In a 2013 Education Northwest article entitled, “Lessons on Leading for Equity”, the authors note:
“Leading for equity is hard, yet inspiring work. It requires thoughtful and bold conversations about race and poverty; close examination of policies and practices; and astute attention paid to a variety of data and evidence of student achievement, progress and success. Above all, it requires a willingness to look deeply at one’s beliefs and attitudes and to reflect on how those attitudes play out in daily practice.”
I believe these statements best summarize the work I have had the privilege to realize with you this year.
I continue to be reminded throughout the course of my work, whether with our Chamber or City partners, parents on my parent advisory, staff one on one conversations, or our board work, this community is whole heartedly dedicated to wrapping itself around all of our children, regardless of background or circumstance, for it is together that we lay the groundwork for the success of all of Springfield’s children.