Dear Beaverton Staff, Students and Community,
WE believe that Black Lives Matter. WE will continue to assert that Black Lives Matter until there is evidence that shows our Black and African American students and staff are thriving in our Beaverton schools. There is clearly more work to be done to become an anti-racist school district.
Here are several actions we are taking to move on our commitment to being an anti-racist organization:
Listening Sessions: This week, Superintendent Grotting held Listening Sessions with Black and African American students and staff. They courageously shared their stories about being Black or African American in Beaverton schools. Their stories illustrated how institutional racism has manifested itself in our school district.
Staff Development: We will set the expectation, and require that all staff and School Board members engage in professional development that racism, in all its forms, will not be tolerated in our schools and facilities. This includes a Leadership Summit for all administrators, principals, and supervisors this summer, focusing on a commitment to anti-racism and racial equity.
Use of the Equity Lens: In all considerations and decisions, we will use the BSD Equity Lens to answer the following questions:
- Whose voice is and isn't represented in this decision?
- Who does this decision benefit or burden?
- Is this decision in alignment with the BSD Equity Policy?
- Does this decision close or widen the access, opportunity, and expectation gaps?
2020-2021 Budget: We have applied an equity-based approach to staffing our schools. Based on state funding, we will prioritize the hiring of a Talent Acquisition Administrator to lead efforts to recruit and retain diverse staff.
Review of School Resource Officer Program: We are in conversation with the Beaverton Police Department and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office to evaluate the School Resource Officer Program partnership. While we value this partnership, at this time it is critical we re-evaluate the presence and engagement of police in our schools.
Social Studies Curriculum: As part of our cyclical review this year, we will review, adopt and plan implementation of K-12 curriculum materials that accurately reflect the history of Black, Indigenous and People of Color.
Hate Speech Language: We are revising our 2020-21 Student/Family Handbook to reflect our commitment to learning environments that are free from hate speech. It will be an expectation that we will interrupt it when we hear it and that there will be consequences including restorative justice action.
On Friday, June 26, all school reader boards will read Black Lives Matter. We will leave this message up until Monday, July 6, when we will start promoting Return to School virtual information sessions.
In addition, we will allow the community-based signs and artwork to remain on some of our school fences until next Monday, June 29. We want to show appreciation for the community voice and display of support, while also following Board Policy and Administrative Regulation KJA, which addresses the posting of signs on District property. Community-based signs will be removed per this policy/regulation after June 29. As stewards of the physical property of our schools and facilities, we must ensure that our campuses are consistent with established policy/regulation.
Thank you for your understanding and consideration of the steps we are taking to become an anti-racist school district. This is a process and we acknowledge that there is a lot of learning to do, and we are committed to moving forward. We look to continue to learn and grow with our community in these efforts.
Don Grotting, Superintendent
Beaverton School Board Members: Becky Tymchuk, Eric Simpson, Anne Bryan, Tom Colett, Susan Greenberg, LeeAnn Larsen, Donna Tyner
Superintendent’s Cabinet Members: Carl Mead, Ginny Hansmann, Mike Schofield, Sue Robertson, Josh Gamez, Steve Langford, Danielle Hudson, Pat McCreery, David Williams, Maureen Wheeler, Toshiko Maurizio, Camellia Osterink, Dianna Hess