Those living in Richmond Community Schools’ boundaries are being asked to learn more about ensuring equal access to educational opportunities for the district’s students.
A public forum, called “Why Richmond Community Schools Needs an Equity Policy,” will be from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, at Morrisson-Reeves Library, 80 N. Sixth St., Richmond.
Members of Richmond Education Association’s Racial Equity Commission are organizing the discussion about what they believe are current disparities occurring in RCS.
Commission members Debbie Carter and the Rev. Ron Chappell spoke at RCS’ Dec. 13 board meeting. They encouraged RCS’ board to prioritize implementation of a diversity, equity and inclusion policy.
“Every student (especially those from currently and historically marginalized backgrounds) has the right to participate in a positive and inclusive learning environment where they feel safe, included, welcomed, valued, and experience a sense of belonging and academic success,” the commission’s news release said.
They also asked residents and RCS board members and employees to attend the public gathering to learn more.
RCS board President Nicole Stults told Western Wayne News that the board did not have any comments at this time about the forum, but Superintendent Curtis Wright planned to attend the forum on behalf of the district and the Jan. 9 meeting of the local NAACP chapter, of which he’s a member.
Carter and Chappell told the board that the policy would increase opportunities for barrier-free access to education for Richmond’s youth. They said standardized testing confirms students of color, those who have disabilities, who are transient and/or in lower-income families are all underperforming in every category in all grade levels, and addressing those issues will help all RCS students.
Signatures to “Demand RCS School Board Pass DEI Policy” are being gathered in an online form at bit.ly/3H5nBdO that also asks if the signer plans to attend the Jan. 16 discussion.
A version of this article appeared in the January 10 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.