Mt. Pleasant Public Schools plans to launch Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs to address equity challenges within the school district.
As part of the semi-annual distribution of 2% of funds from Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe Class III gaming at its casino properties, Mt. Pleasant Middle School will receive $82,000 to address DEI issues on multiple fronts.
Previously, the college had received several reports related to racial issues within the school. Some parents have reported that their children have been bullied by racial slurs and feel that staff have not addressed the issues sufficiently.
Administrators are forming a team of staff, parents, and community members to assess the school’s position on DEI issues and help guide decisions about curriculum, training, and programming DEI.
Tribal funding will be used for a 10-session training program for all college staff led by professors from Central Michigan University (CMU). CMU graduate students will serve as peer facilitators to also help lead a group of students through the course. In addition to this, the plan also calls for community engagement such as a community newsletter and events to celebrate and honor diverse cultures and backgrounds, including events with the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.
“We are excited to strengthen our work to build a more inclusive school community where all of our students feel welcome and belong,” said Mt. Pleasant Middle School Principal Darby Weaver. “This grant allows us to continue our efforts to uplift all students to be truly supported in their academic, social, and emotional needs.”
The Mt. Pleasant Public Schools School Board is also establishing a district-level Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force.
“The immediate charge of the task force will be to begin the long-term process to improve cultural awareness, diversity, equity, and inclusion in our district,” the MPPS Diversity Task Force request said, equity and inclusion. “The task force will work to identify and recommend to the school board areas for improvement related to district-wide diversity, equity and inclusion strategies. To maximize efficiency and accountability, the team will be comprised of internal and external stakeholders.
For more information, visit mtpleasantschools.net/district/news/.