During the 2019 session, the Oregon legislature passed a law called the Student Success Act. This act represents a historic investment in K-12 education. In addition to targeted investments, these funds also provide school districts additional resources through the Student Investment Account.
As part of the ongoing work through the support of this funding, SKPS has established a Student Investment Account committee. This committee oversees the commitment of the SIA to serve students in the district through improved access to academic resources, restorative behavioral practices and the importance of mental health
By Dara Elkanah
The first meeting of the SIA Committee for the 2021-2022 academic school year took place on September 20, 2021. It began with acknowledging Hispanic Heritage Month, to celebrate the exceptional contributions amongst Hispanic Americans in our community.
At the meeting, Superintendent Christy Perry explained the importance of how we must, “Strengthen partnerships with the Salem-Keizer community. Specifically, partnerships with minoritized or historically underserved communities.”
As a community, we recognize the importance of having diverse representation in all educational aspects, in order to give all types of students the representation they deserve. This invites the opportunity for students to be vulnerable with teachers and staff members, and create a close-knit community, despite the distance Covid-19 put between our community.
Thankfully, we heard positive feedback from families describing the school district. SKPS was described as vibrant, diverse, and engaged with supporting its students. Families also believed that their students were accepted and cared for.
In order to promote diversity, the district has hired leaders for Dual Language expansion, and an LGBTQ+ Liaison. In addition, the committee invited Chris Moore, who leads the SKPS Social and Emotional Learning team, as a guest speaker. He shared about “Sense of Belonging” amongst students in the district. This panel led to conversations about why students of color were not faced with the opportunity to learn about their culture and background throughout their entire school experience.
The district took this feedback to learn how to implement these opportunities into actual classes that will be available to students.