Committee works to make sure that each Saugerties scholar has the chance to succeed

Committee works to ensure that every Saugerties student has the opportunity to succeed

The Saugerties Central College District’s (SCSD) Range, Fairness and Inclusion (DEI) met just about final week, discussing its goal and targets because it seeks to make sure each scholar within the district has the chance to succeed. 

Among the many cited targets for the DEI committee are to construct a group and customary language round fairness; to supply a imaginative and prescient of dedication aligning with the district’s total imaginative and prescient; to evaluate wants and methods to obtain them; to “help a tradition of secure, nurturing, and interesting studying environments for ALL;” and to create alternatives for the bigger SCSD group to study from and be concerned with the DEI course of. 

“There’s lots of wonderful work taking place (within the district),” stated Superintendent Kirk Reinhardt. “Not solely is there a ripple impact going from the highest right down to elementary.” 

Reinhardt stated that whereas the committee is comprised of adults, college students within the SCSD are additionally on the fore, together with a Cahill Elementary group referred to as College students For Change, which lately made a presentation earlier than a gathering of native faculty district directors and college students at Saugerties Excessive College.

“The highschool college students noticed how college students could make dramatic change locally,” Reinhardt stated. “And I additionally suppose the visiting assistant superintendents have been extraordinarily impressed with what they noticed. The buy-in from each school and college students was fairly spectacular, and there are different districts within the county that wish to mirror a few of the stuff we’re doing.”

The assembly, held on Tuesday, January 24, was chaired by Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Gwendolyn Roraback and attended by district educators and directors, and members of the general public. Although there have been additionally Board of Training trustees in attendance, the DEI is a districtwide work group relatively than a committee of the College Board. 

Roraback spoke of the weird however wholly applicable step the district took by inviting College students For Change to talk earlier than visiting directors and educators. 

“We simply want to present them a voice and supply area for them to make the most of their voice,” Roraback stated. 

Cahill Elementary Principal Shannon Molyneaux spoke about how the DEI is changing into second nature, however that it’s necessary to proceed working laborious to make sure it stays that means. 

“We’re attending to the purpose the place I really feel prefer it’s simply embedded in our conversations and it’s now not essentially only a separate factor that we have now to make it possible for we’re doing, however we additionally need to make it possible for we’re attending to that time,” Molyneaux stated, including that whereas her faculty lately honored Dr. Martin Luther King, and the nationwide Black Historical past Month is coming in February, it was essential that their efforts aren’t simply calendar-based. 

“I prefer to consider that some of these issues are simply built-in all year long and never essentially a specific time of yr,” Molyneaux stated, including that inclusion should lengthen to all college students. “It’s necessary, particularly right here, with lots of our English language learners to include their tradition into the classroom conversations.”

Kristina Giangreco, principal at Grant D. Morse Elementary College, spoke concerning the significance of purposeful training. 

“I feel whenever you’re speaking about DEI, an important factor is one other phrase we’ve used rather a lot this yr, which is intentional,” stated Giangreco. “Once we’re intentional, we glance via a lens of constructing certain all of our college students see illustration. Um, once we do our publication tales, we’re intentional in that we’re choosing authors from quite a lot of backgrounds and we’re celebrating and letting youngsters find out about holidays they won’t have fun, however the significance is that they expertise them and learn about them, in order that they’re a extra various international citizen and capable of work together with individuals from many backgrounds.”

For example, Giangreco famous that the current vacation celebrations included Christmas decorations, a Kwanzaa kinara and a menorah. 

“It led to conversations with college students,” Giangreco stated. “Our children are so excited to find out about totally different backgrounds.”

The DEI is being partly guided by the ideas of the State Training Division’s culturally responsive sustaining training framework, and the Board of Regents’ initiative on range, fairness and inclusion. Throughout final week’s DEI assembly, these in attendance have been added to breakout teams to brainstorm concepts of methods to additional adapt these ideas in order that they’re related to the SCSD. 

College Board President Robert Thomann learn a draft perception assertion that got here out of his breakout group. 

“The Saugerties Central College District is dedicated to an academic group that seeks information, options and dialog, not reactions and assumptions, and thru mutual respect and customary targets the place all college students can attain their potential,” Thomann stated. “The (SCSD) will foster empathy and connection to one another, the group and the world in pursuit of inspiring our college students and workers to be brokers of change for range, fairness and inclusion on the planet.” 

Whereas a lot of the assembly was centered round efforts on the elementary faculty degree, Roraback stated that the secondary degree can be necessary to making sure DEI reaches your complete faculty group. 

“On the secondary degree we’re centered on project-based studying, however actually via the lens of fairness work,” Roraback stated. “So project-based studying is fairness work, literacy work is fairness work.”