Important information from this week's Board of Education meeting
I have a few updates to cover in my email today. Please watch my video update for more details on the first two topics.
Our commitment to eliminating racism in our schools
I’m going to start with an update on our district-wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We are committed to this work, to eliminating the bias and prejudice that divides us and to being a force of positive change.
In light of the current discussions in our community and across the country about racism, the Board of Education decided to go on the record by passing a resolution that takes a stand specifically on eliminating racism and bias in our schools. And they went beyond that by setting several concrete action steps to move us forward in this and all of our diversity, equity and inclusion work. You can read the resolution here, and watch my video update for more details on the action steps.
Next, I want to talk about district finances and our financial plans for the future. Last November, we announced that we would return to voters in the fall of 2020 with an operating levy. A lot has changed since then.
After thoughtful consideration, the Board of Education has made the incredibly difficult decision to postpone our plans for an operating levy until November of 2021. We will have to take some difficult and necessary steps to be responsible stewards of our community’s investment in our schools. You will be hearing more about this in a letter from the Board of Education that will be arriving in your mailboxes later this month.
2020-2021 planning process
I also have an update on our three-phase process to plan for the fall and the upcoming school year. We are now in the design phase, and we are working on developing prototypes for reopening our schools this fall.
The Board of Education is truly committed to taking the time to hear from every possible voice in this process, and we will be going back to staff and families to gather feedback on the prototypes before any decisions are made.
State leaders and local health officials are still working on their guidelines for reopening schools, so we are adjusting our timeline accordingly and planning to have a final recommendation to the Board of Education by mid-July. We will share as much information as we can, as soon as we can, with all of you. If you’d like to review the feedback collected during the data phase, we encourage you to visit our website for the results of our surveys.
This afternoon the governor’s office announced that contact practices for our student athletes can resume soon if precautionary measures are followed. We are awaiting more details from the state and the Ohio High School Athletic Association and will have more information for students and families soon.
Take care of yourselves and your families, and have a great weekend! And, as always, go Bears!
Paul Imhoff, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Upper Arlington Schools