District, Board to focus on discussion, dialogue and a measured approach to DEI

May 12, 2022

Dear Stillwater Community,

At Stillwater Central School District, we support all students. Our vision is to create an inclusive culture with diverse and enriching opportunities that promote student success through continuous improvement and community involvement.

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has developed an initiative, the Culturally Responsive-Sustaining (CR-S) Education Framework, that establishes culturally responsive-sustaining Diversity, Equity and Inclusion guidelines for students, teachers, school and district leadership, families and community advocates, higher education, and the state education department. This framework reflects the state’s commitment to improving learning results for all students by creating well-developed, culturally responsive-sustaining, equitable systems of support for achieving dramatic gains in student outcomes.

To approach Diversity, Equity and Inclusion through the CR-S Education Framework with fidelity, our district recognizes the importance of engaging stakeholders in a formalized process. We began by engaging in conversations with Generation Ready, a company that would provide a customized process for CR-S. While moving forward with the beginning stages of the work is important, the district paused to hear from our community regarding concerns around this topic and to ensure we are aligned with our vision statement.

At the May 10, 2022 Board of Education meeting, representatives from Generation Ready presented the process to our Board and community. Many community members asked questions regarding the work Generation Ready would provide and also presented concerns with that work.

Our Board listened intently and has determined to postpone engaging with Generation Ready. While the district will continue to support its commitment to improving learning experiences for all children, the Board will determine the next steps in the process through discussion, dialogue and a measured approach. Ultimately, the goal is for every child to feel welcome, accepted, heard and at home at Stillwater Central School District.

We appreciate the participation and input of district residents, and we thank the community for their continued support of our students and school.

Patricia Morris