Rhinebeck School District Reaches Out to Parents, Staff, and Community Members To Communicate What It Stands For
Regardless of anyone’s personal political preferences, views, or opinions, there is little doubt that the recent climate in our nation has, at times, failed to set a positive example for our children, from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Most of us would agree that the lack of respect and civility in our national discourse, especially in recent months, is not the example that most of us want for the children in our schools and in our communities
The tone of this discourse has been and is, in many ways, inconsistent with what our school district stands for, as outlined as follows:
Our Mission: “The Rhinebeck Central School District is a collaborative educational community that provides an excellent learning environment, prepares students to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future, and is dedicated to nurturing every student’s generosity of spirit, passion for learning, and success.”
Our Vision: “The Rhinebeck Central School District meets the changing needs of our community with innovative programming, consistent with best learning practices. Each student enjoys equity of access to opportunities in an enriching environment that encourages the mastery of skills and knowledge necessary at each grade level to meet or exceed high school graduation requirements. Working collaboratively with staff, parents, and the community, we will support our students to become self-directed learners; collaborative workers; complex thinkers; community contributors; quality producers; and ethical decision-makers.”
Our Core Values: “We value that a quality education includes safety and health, resources, respect, responsibility, courage, integrity, citizenship, collaboration, achievement, and recognition.”
We share the concern that some students in our schools may feel less secure as a result of what others in our country, and perhaps in our community, may be saying and modeling in person, in the traditional media, in social media, and elsewhere. It should not be surprising, therefore, that some school-age children, in the Rhinebeck schools and elsewhere, may be concerned about negativity in response to their gender, their racial and ethnic background, their religion, their sexual preference or expression, their disability, and/or their citizenship and immigration status.
Recently, Governor Cuomo, Attorney General Schneiderman, and Education Commissioner Elia have written to schools across New York State, addressing these concerns and pledging their support to uphold the dignity of each child in our schools. Their statements are included in the two attached documents.Education Commissioner/Attorney General letter Gov Cuomo letter to SED
On behalf of the Rhinebeck Central School District Board of Education, I write to confirm our commitment to the principles of our mission, vision and core values, and to reaffirm the vigorous support of our students and staff who might experience bigotry, bias, intolerance, discrimination, bullying, harassment, hate, or violence, of any kind, now or in the future. We pledge to provide a safe learning and teaching environment for all students and staff, and we will continue to address any uncivil or discriminatory behavior in our schools with vigilance and determination. We appreciate your support in these efforts and in sharing that commitment with members of your family, especially your children.