Karsten Anderson

Karsten Anderson, Red Wing Public Schools superintendent.

This week has been particularly disheartening and frightening for so many people. Our school community mourns the recent death of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center. The deaths of George Floyd, Daunte Wright, and so many others impact all of us, especially people of color who have experienced systemic racism for centuries.

The school district and community must respond by providing support to students and families in need, collaboratively establishing equitable policies and practices, and — quite simply — doing the right thing for every person in Red Wing. Following through with this work will define us for generations; failure to act will expose our values as human beings.

During a workshop on April 26, Red Wing School Board will continue its focus on equity. Some topics to be discussed include:

  • Decision-making processes will change. The Education Plan needs adjustments to ensure that our commitment to equity is expressed and emphasized, a decision-making chart will be used so that all voices are heard and perspectives are considered, and policies/practices will be reviewed with equity as a critical factor.

  • An Equity Team was formed this year to recommend changes. District officials are also working with the Native American Parent Committee, Black Student Union, and Hispanic Outreach to better serve students and help ensure all voices are heard.

  • Staff development will focus on equity-related training, including yearly diversity/anti-bias training for all employees as suggested by the Native American Parent Committee.  Administrators are participating in yearlong training to help us lead equity-related efforts, and additional training will be offered to more employees in subsequent years.

  • Classroom experiences for students are changing. Elementary students see themselves in the new Wonders 2020 curriculum, the high school Perspectives class asks students to consider different perspectives in the classroom and lens they use to view the world, additional support for English language learners was provided beginning this year, and Dakota language and culture classes will be provided beginning in 2022-23 if a grant is awarded.

Please contact a building leader or school counselor if you know of a child or adult in need of support. Resources to support students and families are also available on the Minnesota Department of Education’s website ateducation.mn.gov/MDE/dse/safe/res/resp/

Please feel free to contact me at klanderson@rwps.org if you have any questions or suggestions about Red Wing Public Schools.

Karsten Anderson is superintendent of Red Wing Public Schools.

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