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Race, Inclusivity and Community Statement from Superintendent Dr. Eric Byrne Tuesday, June 16 Board of Education Meeting

Race, Inclusivity and Community Statement from Superintendent Dr. Eric Byrne
Tuesday, June 16 Board of Education Meeting

Race, equity and inclusivity are incredibly important topics that must be addressed by schools and communities. I am so impressed by the courage and leadership being shown by our students and alumni as they challenge all of us to do better. It is never easy to share painful experiences with others and it is upsetting to know that experiences in school may have caused pain. School should be a place where students learn, grow, and develop in a comfortable, safe environment.

As educators, we are committed to providing a school environment that is inclusive, just, and focused on equity for all. As such, it is incumbent upon us to begin and pursue a conversation that explores the issues of racism, inclusivity, equity, and community. This critically important discussion will not be easy and may be emotional for many. The Rye City School District has begun the process to create a forum to begin these conversations. Our administrative team is working  to bring representative voices of our community together to tackle this important issue.

We have begun forming a task force that will take on the challenge of ensuring that we provide a school environment that supports all students and provides equity in opportunity. We are committed to following a comprehensive process that will seek to identify areas where we fall short, opportunities for growth and in developing a plan that will ensure we achieve equity for all. The task force on race, inclusivity and community will focus on several key areas:

  • Student Support

  • Curriculum

  • Professional Development and Staff Support

  • Community Education

  • Policy

  • Athletics and Extracurricular Activities

The task force will create a steering committee of stakeholders including students, faculty and community members to participate in this important work. A detailed action plan will be created that will guide information gathering and analysis, goal setting, communication structures, and timelines for the work ahead. The task force will identify community-based organizations and experts in the field of equity to become our partners in this critically important work.

I know that change is long overdue and I am confident that our school community is up to the challenge and will do the hard work necessary to make lasting change and ensure equity for all in the Rye City Schools.