Milford schools

Milford schools discuss five-year goals


MILFORD – Ingrid Canady felt she needed to give a standing ovation at the Milford School Board.

Canady, executive director of the State Education Resource Center, was reviewing the board’s list of goals and commitments when she came to No.5.

“We are committed to laying the groundwork for an environment of oneness that addresses race, equity and social justice in a safe and supportive learning environment. It is essential for the progress of all members of our learning community that we take deliberate steps to make it clear that historically marginalized people are fully included and valued.

The board presented a draft of its goals and commitments for the next five years. Canady had spent time with the board reviewing its commitments, but had specifically focused on race, equity, social justice and historical marginalization. Board members plan to discuss its goals and commitments at the next meeting.

“I looked at this and said what really caught my eye,” Canady said. “You made a bold statement through this engagement and, like I said, I gave you a standing ovation.”

It also raised some questions, said Candy. “What is the race? Equity, how do you define it? Social justice, what would we see when we see it? Deliberate, what is our intentional action? Historically, how do we go against the power of the norm?

Board member Una Petroske said when she thinks about fairness she thinks it’s about breaking down barriers.

“Everyone has the same foundation,” she said. She said it is possible to be a socially just community, “but it will be a hard and intentional process.”

Canaday said the board is responsible for three roles. The first is racial awareness.

“A racially aware leader is very aware of their own racial identity, it is not someone else’s racial identity, but their own racial identity,” she said.

The second role of the council is to orchestrate deliberate actions to achieve racial awareness.

“How do you create a critical interruption, which means asking questions about everything that comes before the board?” ” she said.

The third role, having a vigilant mindset, directly follows the second role and involves deliberate action. Canady said this is the critical questioning that follows the Critical Interruption, and the question everything rule applies to the third role as well.

Superintendent Anna Cutaia said the three aspects of being a board member might seem like a short list, “but they’re pretty heavy loads.”

Cutaia said it would be a good idea to invite Canady to come back “to dig a little deeper”.

Some of the council’s other commitments include expanding and strengthening relationships within the Milford community; maintain a system of structures and resources to ensure emotionally and physically safe and secure learning environments for all; attract, recruit and foster a diverse community of talented professionals, and more.

The objectives of the board are varied. Academically, the board asserted that learners will be curious and challenge themselves and understand, organize and analyze information to solve problems and articulate solutions.

Other goals are for students to engage in self-care leading to a healthy lifestyle, to become global citizens who think and act beyond themselves to serve others and their community, and be imaginative and curious and challenge themselves to create, shape, and invent their learning experiences.

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