Our Commitment to Anti-Racism in District 97

Dear District 97 Community,

Anti-Racism Fact Sheet (click to access flyer)As we continue to explore culturally-responsive teaching in the wake of recent massive social justice and anti-racism demonstrations, we are reminded that schools are a reflection of our society. Schools provide us with the opportunity to ensure that we support students in growing into their roles as global citizens in our wonderfully diverse democracy.

District 97’s Policy 7:12 (Ensuring Racial and Educational Equity) states:

“District 97 seeks to disrupt societal and historical inequities arising from institutional racism and white supremacy in our schools and eliminate disparities based on student status so that all our students will benefit and reach their potential.”

We believe that that education is the most valuable tool to dismantle racism and create a more equitable society. To that end, beginning this school year, District 97 teachers will implement anti-racist curricula and instruction, aligned to the Social Justice Standards from Teaching Tolerance. We will begin to incorporate age-appropriate materials and lessons designed to reduce bias, support understanding and appreciation of culture, class, language, ethnicity, and other differences that contribute to the uniqueness of each student and staff member, as well as provide opportunities for critical analysis of racism here in the United States and around the world.

The beginning of our work is outlined in the attached fact sheet. Information, updates and resources related to anti-racism in District 97 can be found at www.op97.org/antiracism

Retraining the way we think and setting aside our biases takes courage and transparency. Most of all, it cannot happen with the district acting alone. We are grateful that many District 97 community members are already collaborating in support of this effort, our students and staff (e.g., D97 Diversity Council, Climate and Culture Coaches, E-Team, Social Workers, D97 Teaching and Learning Department and D97 Equity Department). Now, we need you. Together, we can engage in the critical conversations needed to move our anti-racism work forward and create an even better D97 this school year.

Sincerely, 

District 97 Teaching and Learning Department