Dear PSD community,
The purpose of this message is to update you on Poudre School District’s equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) work. We are proud to share the progress made since summer 2020, which taught us a lot about the needs of our communities.
PSD is a learning organization that stands for human dignity and we, the collective leadership of PSD, promise to honor the students and staff we serve for who they are. We also promise to create and uphold equitable, inclusive educational opportunities for all PSD students.
Our work needs to ensure the safety and well-being of our students and staff who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA+, those with differing abilities, those who experience religious persecution, women and anyone else who experiences discrimination. Hate and intolerance are not acceptable in PSD. It is incumbent upon staff in our district to respond to and improve systems, policies, and practices to help our students and staff navigate what they are seeing and hearing among their peers, in their communities, and on social media. We are responsible for creating safe places where every person is included and has the best opportunity to grow, learn, and thrive. We are here for everyone in our school communities, and we are building a shared culture in which we can respectfully learn and create needed dialogue.
Our students can expect to participate in an affirming environment where they can make sense of the world around them and maximize their educational opportunities. Our students have taught us that the world will not change itself and that we must act.
Our staff can expect this work to be a priority, reflected in our strategic actions, and discussed openly as we also continue to build an inclusive work environment that reinforces our commitment to hearing and respecting all voices. We value our partnership with our colleagues and ask for their engagement in these efforts.
Our community can expect us to listen to diverse thoughts and opinions as we move forward. We recognize that these are challenging and difficult times, and we will only succeed with your perspectives and input.
Inclusive leadership: Our system is restructuring the way we work so that we actively recruit families, staff, students, and community members whose voices should inform their experiences in and with PSD. There are several PSD groups designed to engage stakeholders and foster critical conversations, including the Student Equity Coalition, Staff Equity Coalition, Equity and Diversity Advisory Council and Community Advisory Council.
Curriculum: PSD’s curriculum materials should affirm our many identities, and represent multiple, complex human experiences and perspectives. PSD’s Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment and Language, Culture and Equity departments, among others, will review PSD’s curriculum materials to determine where bias exists in our materials and to determine whether they meet our EDI standards. This work will be done with PSD stakeholders.
Professional development: Training in PSD centers upon knowledge, self-awareness, skills and action. At the start of the 2020-21 school year, all staff learned about equity, diversity and inclusion efforts in PSD, which provided context for the work ahead. Staff throughout our system are building their awareness and skills through EDI learning opportunities, even as new ones continue to be developed.
Climate and culture: Our vision is to build dignifying and affirming environments where all students and staff thrive. Each person should feel a sense of belonging, regardless of where they attend school or work within PSD. As part of building this culture, we are developing a bias-incident reporting mechanism for staff, students and families to report their experiences in our schools.
The PSD Board of Education will also establish a fifth District End, the district’s aspirational and visionary goals. Like PSD’s other ends, a District End for equity, diversity and inclusion will have associated benchmarks to assess measurable progress. Staff are also creating a library of resources to support our educators, staff, students and communities, which will be posted on the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion web page. This page will serve as a primary source of information about PSD’s EDI work.
PSD remains committed to this work and our promise to honor students and staff for who they are. Together, we are the solution.
Thank you for your continued partnership,
Todd Lambert, interim superintendent
Christophe Febvre, president on behalf of the PSD Board of Education
John Mckay, director of Language, Culture and Equity department
John Robinson, president on behalf of Poudre Education Association
Joni Baker, president on behalf of the Association of Classified Employees
Kristin Stolte, president on behalf of the Poudre Association of School Executives