Leading for Equity
The Snoqualmie Valley School District engages with the community to ensure every student achieves an excellent education, focused on the SVSD’s mission to prepare students for college, career, and citizenship. To fully realize our mission, it is imperative we dismantle the institutional barriers which uphold racism and bias against marginalized groups and contribute to the pervasive, disparate educational outcomes within our school system. Because we value individual human differences we commit to establishing and maintaining a culture that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion. The values of diversity, equity, and inclusion are inextricably linked to our mission, and we embrace these values as being critical to the development, learning, and success of all.
We acknowledge that:
- Diversity makes us stronger when we value every individual’s uniqueness, abilities, perspectives and contributions.
- Equity is realized when we remove systemic, cultural, and physical barriers that lead to diminished opportunities and disproportionate outcomes for students
- Inclusion is the intentional creation of conditions where every individual is heard, respected, supported, and empowered.
Brief History of the Work
Thinking from SVSD Stakeholders
The DEI Stakeholder Group provides administrators, students, and staff with the resources and knowledge needed to not only understand the value of bringing racial diversity, equity, and inclusion in our communities, but how it will be most valuable to our school communities.”
The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative that was launched last year by our Superintendent Dr. Manahan is a top priority for the Snoqualmie Valley School district Board of Directors. Two Directors, Ram Dutt Vedullapalli and I, are members of the team that are moving forward with this initiative. Additionally, all five of the Directors are looking forward to the actions that will make DEI an integral part of all that we do in our school district. With the upcoming retirement of Dr. Manahan, we would like to restate that our commitment to DEI moving forward will not falter. One of the recruitment criteria for Dr. Manahan’s successor will be the understanding of DEI issues and the passion and drive to see those issues tackled in our school district. Just this week, we communicated to our recruitment consultants that this criterion was non-negotiable.Geoff Doy, Vice President SVSDBoard of Directors
I am highly encouraged that Snoqualmie Valley School District has chosen to focus on diversity, equity and inclusion to the benefit of all students within Snoqualmie Valley. When we embrace inclusive best practices like Universal Design for Learning (UDL)we remove barriers for all of our students and simultaneously increase student choice, student engagement and student achievement. When we embrace all forms of diversity including disability as a form of diversity and neurodiversity we show students we value them for who they are as they are. And finally when we focus on equity we commit to dismantling systems that create disproportionate outcomes and segregation and instead ensure that students have equal opportunities to learn together, contribute and work toward meaningful, authentic and relevant goals.
As a student of color who has attended Snoqualmie Valley District schools from kindergarten all the way to my senior year, I am thrilled that a DEI Stakeholder group has formed this year. With Dr. Manahan's ability to take initiative along with administrators, teachers, parents and students' support to first understand and educate themselves about DEI issues and then use their voices to make an impact, our school community is already changing for the better as we have taken the first step in this process. We've already had many powerful conversations about anti-racist policies and awareness in our meetings, and I have gotten to meet many amazing individuals who are all on the same page with one other. The DEI Stakeholder group is devoted to understanding how to challenge the systems in our schools that disproportionately affect students to implement change and ensure that all SVSD students have equal access to equal opportunities, and I am excited to see what the future holds for this group and how the next superintendent will make this topic a priority of theirs.