Good evening students, staff, families and community,
I am writing this evening to let you know that we as a district have been made aware of comments made on social media by former district students that have raised concerns within our community. In particular, we have recently received concerns from community members that acts of discrimination or harassment may have occurred and were not appropriately handled by staff. I want to assure you that the Blaine School District does not tolerate racism or discriminatory behavior of any kind, and we are committed to reviewing practices, both past and present.
Prior to when the COVID-19 pandemic conditions closed school buildings, the district had been working on an updated strategic plan. Part of this plan has been grounded in the discussion of equity and inclusionary practices. There is a need for the examining, listening, and understanding of issues that contribute to inequities for people of color in our country. As I stated in my community message on June 12, 2020, I believe we can all benefit from additional learning, training, and communication. As part of this ongoing process we want to ensure we are respecting all of our families. This includes reviewing instructional materials in support of inclusion, and reviewing policies to ensure staff are supporting all students equally. In collaboration with community organizations such as Birch Bay Blaine Thrives, the Blaine School District has laid out a plan for equity training for staff in August, as well as ongoing training throughout the school year, developed in collaboration with our teachers.
Engaging in learning and meaningful collaboration around the topic of equity and inclusion cannot be a one time or one-year topic, but rather must be a continued effort reflected in practice within all departments, buildings and classrooms of the Blaine School District. A key component of continual improvement moving forward will be engaging in meaningful conversations with all stakeholders. In order for us to grow as a district and as a wider community, we must have open dialogue around those practices, whether intentional or unintentional, that contribute to discriminatory behavior. We are gathering names of individuals interested in serving in a group to inform our discussions and decisions related to equity and inclusion. If you are interested in being considered to serve in this work, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a tremendous opportunity for our community to work together to model what collaboration and cooperation can do. We are stronger together, and I look forward to the Blaine School District being a key player in uniting our community.
Dr. Christopher Granger, Superintendent
Every Student. Every Day. In a New Way!