The University Place School Board shapes and directs the work of the district by developing policy and connecting with the community to learn about what citizens want and expect from schools.
The University Place School District Board of Directors is committed to ensuring that all students receive a high-quality education in an environment where they are treated with dignity and respect. Recent incidents in our country have exposed long-standing problems with racial inequity and racism. The UPSD board worked together to write a statement citing beliefs and making commitments to our community. See the statement in the table below.
Board Policy Related to Racial Equity
Over the years, several policies have been developed with direct connections to key areas of racial equity and diversity.
They include (linked below):
Ends Policy #2- Academic Competence
Ends Policy #3- Contributing Citizens
Executive Limitations Policy 4- Staff Hiring
Executive Limitations Policy 8- Academic Program
Executive Limitations Policy 9- Student Conduct and Discipline
These policies, in part, address key expectations around issues such as curriculum, instruction, hiring and discipline. The board remains committed to seeing this work grow and improve. Regular monitoring and review of these key policies is a value and common practice for our Board of Directors. Public input - and input from parents - is encouraged via email, phone, letter and/or public comment at board meetings..
Board Training on Racial Equality
The UPSD Board of Directors worked with consultant Erin Jones to provide professional development and discussion around race, social justice and the foundation of an anti-racist organization in the summer of 2020. The goal of this work was to increase Board knowledge and understanding as an important step toward leading others in this critical work. State law now requires all school board members to complete a training on educational equity. This requirement applies to both new and experienced board members. These trainings are provided multiple times each year at conferences and other times for board members to attend.
Board Linkage on Racial Equity
The Board of Directors connected with dozens of community members in a “virtual” linkage meeting in March of 2021 to gather feedback on their racial equity statement and on the district’s efforts to date. Citizens, parents and staff participated in a meeting to share thoughts and feedback on the work of the district related to racial equity. This included thoughts about work already complete or underway. It also focused on future work that citizens feel is necessary or work that should be avoided. Citizens were able to share their views and the Board listened.
A second linkage meeting on the topic of racial equity was conducted on February 23, 2022 to follow up with community. Again, many citizens, parents and staff participated. The Board's policies, and Board monitoring of district progress, benefits from this community input & feedback.
Board Recognizes Juneteenth as District Holiday
At their regular meeting on December 8, 2021, the Board of Directors adopted policy 5410, Holidays. This policy formally recognized Juneteenth as a district holiday in University Place School District. Beginning in June 2022, schools will be closed to students and offices will be closed to the public in recognition of this important day.
Juneteenth is an annual holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. It has been celebrated by African-Americans since the late 1800’s. Celebrations of Juneteenth have continued across the U.S. since that time and often include prayer and religious services, speeches, educational events and other types of recognition. Today, people of all races and backgrounds celebrate Juneteenth.
Per policy 5410, Juneteenth will be recognized each June 19th. When this date is a Saturday, the holiday will be observed on Friday. When June 19th is a Sunday, the holiday will be on the following Monday. The addition of Juneteenth will not shorten the student year. All students will continue to attend 180 days of school annually as the law requires.