Spokane Public Schools Respond to Claims of Unfairness

Spokane Public Schools share community feedback on the surveys with a focus on improving diversity and inclusion in the district.

SPOKANE, Wash. – Spokane Public Schools held a virtual school board meeting on Saturday morning to discuss the district’s strategic plan. The discussion focused on the next six years for the district.

The district will focus on diversity and inclusion. Based on feedback the district received from a survey, the overwhelming response showed that community members reported inequalities between schools. The community shared that it is important for the district to ensure equitable education for all students in the district. Comments also recommended hiring more people of color to help with diversity.

The survey conducted by SPS included, but was not limited to, individual interviews, focus groups, town halls and a questionnaire. Here are the five essential questions asked by the district. How can SPS ensure excellence for all through equality? What do you want to see when you enter an SPS building or classroom? What should the student experience look like for every SPS student? What should every SPS graduate be able to do? What should SPS be working on over the next six years to achieve its mission?

Some responses from parents and community members helped SPS leaders determine what the next step is. Here are some of those comments. “Equitable distribution of resources across the district. South Hill should not have “the best schools” as resources should be equally pooled and distributed throughout Spokane. A child living in poverty should have exactly the same opportunities in schools as other children, ”replied a member of the SPS community in the survey.

“I have Métis children. Please think about how you make them feel when you focus on racism as a victim. I can assure you that my children are not victims. It makes them uncomfortable spending time focusing on racial inequalities, as they feel like they are being asked to look for inequalities that for them do not exist. Also, because they are partly Caucasian, it makes them confused as to how they are supposed to feel about the racial inequalities claimed in our supposedly biased system, ”an SPS parent replied in the survey.

“I see some groups getting preferential treatment and I don’t like it. I want to see all the backgrounds of the celebrated students. I want all students to be held to the same standards, ”replied another SPS parent in the survey.

“Build relationships with the community and become a leader in our community. Present the voucher. Don’t be afraid to tackle the difficult issues facing our students, staff and community. Build unity, said a community member interviewed.

Among the comments from the SPS School Board, School Board Vice President Mike Wiser said he wanted to try to be aware of the message they are sending as a school board and find the best way to support students. . School board member Nikki Otero Lockwood said: “Because we haven’t talked about it for so long, we are where we are. “

As part of this process, community / neighborhood meetings will take place in the future. The district sent information about these meetings to parents.

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