Letter: The school system has undergone significant changes

For the editor:

I wanted to clarify a few points raised in Our Views from January 20, “2020 Census: Little Changed Population,” which asks, “Why is the school district making so much of race and diversity? What has changed now compared to 10 years ago? »

He also suggests that the Grosse Pointe public school system “make race and diversity the pillars of its recently adopted three-year strategic plan.”

The GPPSS Strategic Plan provides a roadmap for the next three years, with the culture of educational excellence at the heart of our mission.

While race and diversity, along with equity and inclusion, serve as benchmarks, the three focus areas below and their accompanying goals and objectives are the pillars, as clearly outlined in www.gpschools.org.

*Curriculum, teaching and student learning — GPPSS will cultivate a strong and equitable educational community where all learners are empowered to reach their unique potential.

*Global competence, literacy and real-world readiness — GPPSS will provide learning opportunities that will equip students with the attitudes, values, knowledge and skills that prepare them to be full members of society in the real world.

* Family and Community Engagement — GPPSS will develop and maintain strong connections between schools, families and the community to expand opportunities for student growth and learning.

We are proud of our ongoing work on race and diversity, as 21.63% of GPPSS students – more than one-fifth – represent a minority race (Source: Michigan Department of Education 2020-2021 Racial Census Report).

Additionally, diversity in our school system exists in a myriad of other forms, including ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender, sexual orientation, language, culture, national origin, religious, age, (disability) status and political outlook.

Most importantly, we believe that the best way to meet the needs of every student in the five Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods is to have equitable access and opportunities to our programs and services, to foster and inspire intellectual curiosity from our youngest learners to empowering students of all ages. become leaders.

By “equitable” we mean the process of ensuring that processes and programs are impartial and fair and provide every student with the opportunity to reach their unique potential. Inclusion is the practice of ensuring that all students feel a sense of belonging.

While the broader community demographics shared in your editorial may not indicate any change, we as educators have experienced significant changes over the past decade. It is our responsibility to keep pace and embrace these changes as we prepare students for the world outside our school walls and city borders and for the future that awaits them.

Dr. M. Jon Dean

GPPSS Superintendent

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