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Lawrence school board to hear report on support, outcomes for marginalized students

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The Lawrence school board on Monday will hear a report on the district’s initiatives to support marginalized students and the outcomes of those efforts.

The report itself was not included in meeting agenda materials as of Sunday afternoon.

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The memo to the board, however, states that it will include a focus on marginalized students and assessment data; closing access, opportunity and achievement gaps; Native American Student Services supports; academic, attendance and behavior data; mental health supports and more.

“Schools must be accepting and responsive to establish a safe and supportive environment,” the agenda states. “This process is achieved by focusing on school connectedness and building relationships, reducing inappropriate behaviors, incorporating restorative practices, implementing mental health resources, engaging in social-emotional learning activities, disrupting systemic racism, eliminating inequities, advancing educational equity, facilitating culturally sustaining teaching and learning practices, and by amplifying student’s voices.”

The memo lists seven administrators responsible for the report.

Board members will also revisit their legislative priorities for the upcoming session. They began the discussion at their Oct. 10 meeting, bracing for an upcoming legislative session that “will be, potentially, an assault on public education that is extensive and long,” as one board member put it.

Though Republicans in the Legislature for decades have emphasized the importance of local control, recent legislation has taken power away from local districts, and board members said they expect the trend to continue.

The meeting will finish with an executive (closed-door) session with possible action to follow, according to the agenda.

The board meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24 at district offices, 110 McDonald Drive. Meetings are open to the public, livestreamed on the district’s YouTube channel and broadcast on Midco channel 26. This meeting’s agenda is available at this link, and past and future meeting agendas are made available at this link.

To give public comment virtually during the meeting, email PublicComment@usd497.org by 6 p.m. on the day of the meeting to sign up to participate by Webex video/phone conferencing.

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