Education

North Thurston Public Schools take another step towards towards equity in education

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Last week the North Thurston school board passed a resolution strengthening the district’s commitment to equal treatment for all its students.

 A large part of this commitment will be demonstrated in the district’s future hiring processes. In an attempt to attract, develop, retain a highly qualified, motivated, anti-racist, and diverse workforce in schools and the district office, North Thurston Public Schools (NTPS) has committed to hire educators who are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC).

In its hiring, NTPS will collaborate with its student groups, its parent groups, its community partners and its Social Justice League, among others. NTPS will also research and report how other districts have built strong relationships with their BIPOC communities. The district will also will study how other districts have used mentor/mentee programs to keep minority staff.

 Besides this, NTPS will mandate age-appropriate, ethnic studies coursework in classes of all grades from kindergarten through twelfth grade. That coursework will include studies in the history of resistance and liberation.  

White students make up about half of the student body in this district. Twenty percent of NTPS students are of Hispanic/Latino background. Asian students make up 7 percent of the student body and black students comprise 5 percent.

Research has shown that high-achieving teachers with cultural backgrounds similar to students’ own are effective because such teachers provide real-life models of career success and academic engagement. On a more personal level, students who can relate to their teachers become more engaged, and that engagement ultimately enhances student performance.

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