Families and Community Members,
Much conversation is happening at the local and national levels about Critical Race Theory (CRT) and its supposed implementation in some school curricula. As the superintendent of Pomeroy School District, I want to set the record straight and share the truth about what is and is not happening in our schools.
Critical Race Theory is not being taught at Pomeroy School District. It is not being instructed under the veil of another name or concept in our classrooms. In fact, CRT is not a curriculum or course, but rather an academic and legal framework - a lens of sorts - for examination of how race impacts society and systems.
While PSD is deeply committed to racial equity, it is not the only focus of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts. Our vision is to equip students to be inquisitive, thoughtful, engaged members of a diverse and evolving world. The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work we are conducting across the district is about understanding and honoring the history and unique needs of every student. We are evaluating and removing barriers and systemic inequities so that all students have the opportunity to thrive, regardless of their human identity.
Students have different academic outcomes and needs based on their human identities: ability or disability, socio-economic status, homelessness, race, ethnicity, gender or gender identity, English language acquisition, and many other factors.
Our school district board of directors and staff believe it is both a moral and ethical responsibility to provide equitable access and opportunity for every student; to address the specific and differing abilities and needs of all learners; to eliminate social, racial and economic barriers; and to understand and celebrate differences. These ideals are at the core of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts, and they will help prepare our students to succeed in a competitive, interdependent and global economy.
Here are some examples of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work in PSD and our schools:
- Helping our staff to recognize and seek to understand historical and system inequities in the United States.
- Providing professional development and collaboration opportunities for staff to help establish an understanding of social, racial and economic barriers, and to understand and celebrate differences
- Conducting equity audits to understand needs and opportunities to further develop DEI practices.
- Training for school staff and our board on cultural competency, diversity, equity and inclusion (CCDEI) as part of a new Washington State law (SB 5044).
Join me in supporting all students and bringing our community together rather than dividing us with false and misleading narratives.
Rachel Gwinn, Superintendent