Goal 2: Excellence and Belonging

Diversity. Equity. Inclusion.

The Minnetonka School Board and District Administration believe a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, world class culture and child-centered excellence strengthens Minnetonka Public Schools.  We are committed to deepening our understanding of racial and socio-economic factors in academic performance and discovering new strategies for closing all achievement gaps.  We believe that students who feel a sense of belonging or connectedness to their school are more likely to experience success inside and outside the classroom.  Belonging is defined in this goal as a strong feeling of positive connection, acceptance and importance as a member of the Minnetonka Schools community, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and socioeconomic status.  We are dedicated to working tirelessly to providing a school environment where all students feel safe, welcome, supported and accepted.

The Minnetonka School Board has developed a series of measurable, meaningful and intentional action steps below for the District to promote belonging in our schools.  We are committed to action and to making necessary changes.  We look forward to partnering with students, parents, staff and community members on this important work.  It will not be done in isolation and will require thoughtful consideration. The School Board and District leadership will listen with compassion, examine our own biases and determine what we also can do to help to ensure all students, families and staff feel safe and accepted.  We will be a part of the solution, lead by example and continue to listen and learn.  Our commitment to belonging and child-centered excellence will be the foundation for all our efforts.

This will be a multi-year endeavor. In the 2020-2021 school year, the District will:

  • Publish the Minnetonka Commitment for Excellence and Belonging which will detail the District’s beliefs and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and excellence. This will be completed by September 2020.
  • Publish an Action Plan, Resource Guide and Website for these efforts.  The initial resources will be available by September 2020, and updates will be made throughout the school year. This will include, but will not be limited to, sharing the work done through the Barriers to Success and Reimagine Minnesota programs.
  • Conduct an in-depth review of board vision and district policies #504, 514, 534, 604, 607 using a lens of diversity, equity, inclusion and excellence.
  • Report on the efforts of the Committee on Belonging.  Reports will be delivered to the School Board in October 2020; February 2021; and May 2021.  Reports will include recommendations for actions. This will include an addition of committees for the elementary and middle school levels.
  • Evaluate the curriculum review process/Policy #606 to ensure it embraces diversity, equity, inclusion and excellence.  This will be completed by December 2020 and brought to the Board for approval. The revised process will be utilized in curriculum review work beginning in January 2021. Add materials as appropriate where there are gaps in the curriculum in the interim.   
  • Conduct a minimum of two mandatory training sessions for all staff, students and school board members regarding diversity, equity, inclusion and excellence. One session will be completed in each semester. The District will incorporate training in staff and school board onboarding activities.
  • Develop an action plan to partner with students, parents, staff, alumni and community members. This may include efforts such as listening sessions, surveys, reporting tools and follow-up mechanisms. A system to report issues and concerns with diversity, equity and inclusion will also be included.
  • Determine a staff resource or resources in each building to support belonging initiatives.  Ensure students are aware and have access to these resources.
  • Review hiring activities to further promote hiring staff with diverse backgrounds, particularly people who are BIPOC and LGBTQIA+, to enrich the learning environment for all students by way of diversified perspectives, identities and experiences. Conduct a minimum of three recruiting activities aimed at this effort.