The pursuit of equity in education

Rick Kriesky: The pursuit of equity in education

As the 2017-2018 school year fast approaches, Lexington City Schools would like to share its vision for this year with parents and the community. At a board retreat in the spring of 2016, Lexington City Schools’ Board of Education unanimously adopted the statement, “Equitable Opportunities for All Students” as its goal. Equitable practices are vital in our school district. Lexington schools reflect the essence of diversity both racially and economically. It is essential that all LCS students and parents not only believe that the district’s schools talk about equity, but more importantly, that they experience each school honoring and practicing equity each day. The Lexington staff and administration believe that all children in the district have the ability to meet and surpass state and national averages in both academic growth and achievement. To make this belief a reality Lexington City Schools must provide all children equitable opportunities, individual support, and an environment free from prejudice, bullying and anger.

A vision of equity ensures that our schools are clean, well-resourced, and inviting. They should be places in which educators rise above the level of average, are excited about teaching and learning, and are steadfast in their resolve to dismantle barriers, such as harmful stereotypes and labels that restrict a student’s capacity to learn and grow. Students should feel safe and secure in Lexington schools not because of locks, metal detectors, or security guards, but because they understand that the school has their physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual safety at heart.

Our vision for the district includes teachers and administrators that know each student’s name; a rigorous and demanding curriculum that is respectful and reflective of the diversity of all students’ experiences, cultures, and languages; teachers that have the freedom to use a variety of research-based teaching methods; and administrators that are not found in an office, but rather are seen interacting with students and supporting teachers in the classrooms. In addition our vision includes parents and community members being viewed as assets by the staff. Our goal is for families and community members to feel ownership of the school and know that they are a vital part of student success. Families are invited, encouraged and expected to participate as valuable members of the educational team.

The district’s equitable practices are designed to support our children as they excel in every classroom and to ensure that that each student is treated with respect and dignity. We seek to push each student to reach high and excel beyond their own expectations. It is our hope that as our children succeed, they discover for themselves that education does serve them, and that they are prepared to attain all their hearts desire.

Lexington City Schools extends an open invitation to all parents and community members to join with us. Our pursuit of equity in public education is a noble and daunting endeavor. And, if that endeavor is to be successful, it takes everyone’s contribution. Lexington’s children are this community’s greatest natural resource. Please help us shape the future for that resource.

 

Rick Kriesky is superintendent of Lexington City Schools.