Commitment to Equity:
The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020 and subsequent events were a clear reminder that systemic racism is a potent, negative and divisive force that affects all of us, including our students. Our call as a school district is to be anti-racist and equity focused.  We must ensure that all of our students feel welcome and supported, and that the burden of pushing back on systemic racism does not fall primarily on the shoulders of our students of color. While Hastings staff have engaged in various individual and group efforts over time, there has not been a comprehensive response to issues of equity and systemic racism. Starting summer 2020, the district has engaged in a more cohesive and system wide approach.  

Action steps:

Summer 2020:

  • About 85 staff members chose to participate in one of several book clubs to discuss equitable practices in our classrooms, schools, and systems as we think about our role in addressing systemic racism. 
  • Resources were shared with staff for use with students and families to help with conversations and classroom activities.

Oct 2020: 

  • Created a districtwide 23-member Equity Action Planning Team with representatives from each building. Their charge is to collectively design, deliver, and be champions of anti-racist actions and systems to actively provide a safe and supportive place for our current and future students to learn. This collaborative group is working towards an anti-racist system and experience for current and future students.

2020-21 school year:

  • The Equity Action Planning Team focused on building internal capacity to support understanding and momentum for their work developing a comprehensive district response to issues of equity and systemic racism. Some highlights of their work (see links to “meeting updates” below):
    • Through activities and dialogue, Team members increased their own understanding of the experiences of Hastings students and families to provide perspective on what changes are needed to ensure that all students feel welcome and supported.
    • Provided input to help the School Board develop and approve the district’s Equity and Diversity policy, including district value statements in support of the diversity of students, parents, staff and broader community.
    • Participated in an 8-session learning experience with the YMCA’s Equity Innovation Center of Excellence.
    • Shared their learnings and resources through regular staff updates and articles in the Raider Update eNewsletter.

We serve, see and support all students

Our equity work is a natural outgrowth of our school district’s Strategic Plan, which calls us to create a student-centered, caring and inclusive culture for all. Our work also builds on the Minnesota Department of Education’s “Ten Commitments to Equity”, and is validated by this joint statement released by a number of state education associations in support of increasing education equity.

Equity and Diversity Policy 

The Hastings Public School District believes that the responsibility for student success is broadly shared by District staff, families, the community, and our students’ own efforts. The purpose of this policy is to establish a framework for the elimination of racism and bias, including cultural bias, as factors affecting student achievement and learning experiences, and to promote learning and work environments that welcome, respect, and value diversity. (policy approved May 26, 2021 by the School Board)

Equity Team Members

Equity Team Updates:

Equity-Related Raider Updates:

Additional Resources: