Breaking Barriers, Building Futures
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The selection of a superintendent is among the most significant decisions any school district board of directors will make. The superintendent should be the person and office through which the direction set by the board is carried out.
Dr. John Thein is currently serving as the interim superintendent of Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS). In July, he replaced Valeria S. Silva -- who served as superintendent for the last seven years of her 30-year career in the district.
The Board of Education is conducting a nationwide search for a new leader.
What do we want? We want a Superintendent that can advance racial equity policies throughout SPPS district.
Who can give it to us? Saint Paul Public School Board members.
What do they need to hear? They need to know that WE want our superintendent to rally the district behind racial equity policies and make it clear to ALL employees that business as usual is a thing of the past.
Who do they need to hear it from? Parents, students, concerned individuals, local business and nonprofits in our community.
What we want our superintendent to address once he/she is hired.
Racial Equity Policies- It is our belief that racial equity needs to be at the forefront of current and new policies that involve procedures, staff training, curriculum and school climate.
Recommendations: The district needs to have a clear definition of what is racial equity, and what does it mean to integrate it into fiber of the district.
Cleaning House- Many parents feel like the district needs to hire equity invested people to insure that the disproportionate rate of suspensions of black and native students will no longer be tolerated. Many parents said their cries fell on deaf ears.
Recommendations: Developing an online process where parents file a complaint, and there is some follow up from the district and/or outside advocacy group. But also parents can see what other parents are complaining about. Also, invest in restorative practices, and not punitive practices that continue to push out marginalized students, criminalizes them, and set them up for failure.
Training For teachers & a change in Curriculum- stated , "these kids don't know nothing about themselves."
Recommendations: Multicultural Education is a pedagogy that should be adopted by the district, in addition to, adopting culturally relevant pedagogy (See James A. Bank & Gloria Ladson-Billing).
Services/Support for students with an IEP.
Recommendations: Hire more support staff, and pay your current support staff a living wage.
Addressing suspensions-Ending disproportionate suspension of Black & Native students
Recommendations: We recommend the district follows the Student Discipline Working Group report as presented to state legislators. http://www.senate.mn/committees/2017-2018/3091_Committee_on_E-12_Policy/Student%20Discipline%20Working%20Group%20Report.pdf
We want a Superintendent that can advance racial equity policies throughout SPPS district
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