The Vancouver Public Schools Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution creating policy directives on equity and condemning racism at its Oct. 13 school board meeting.
“This resolution is an important step in our commitment to address racial inequities in our school system,” Board President Wendy Smith said in the news release. “We know this is the right work. It’s critical that every student in VPS feels valued, respected and safe.”
This summer the district announced the creation of four new positions it said would expand the district’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiative. According to a news release, policies will be revised or developed in terms of curriculum, instruction, recruitment, hiring and placement of staff, operations and school climate and culture.
Last month, for instance, the district unanimously voted to retire the Chieftain name and mascot at Columbia River High School and Minnehaha Elementary School. It was a source of controversy for decades, highlighted by renewed national conversations around racial justice.
The district formed an equity advisory committee comprising representatives from the community. What’s next are surveys and meetings with students, families and staff and an audit to review practices and policies through an equity lens.