The Richland School Board unanimously approved a resolution affirming local control of curriculum and a motion to open schools normally for the 2021-22 school year during a special board meeting on June 24.
Both measures reinforce established Board priorities in governing RSD schools.
“These are our thoughts and values, collectively and individually,” said Board President Rick Jansons. “This resolution and motion are intended to clearly set forward the position of the individual board members and the Board as we move forward in working with our community and in an attempt to correct the many misunderstandings this board has been hearing in our community.”
Resolution 931 states that the Board remains committed to increasing equity, cultural awareness, diversity, inclusion, and teaching students a sexual education curriculum that is age-appropriate and that reflects the community's standards and norms. This aligns with the Board’s intent to only implement curriculum after a robust process including review by parents, families, students, and staff resulting in a curriculum that is age appropriate and that reflects the community standards and norms.
Misinformation that schools in Washington state are requiring students or staff to learn or be trained in Critical Race Theory have circulated in the community in recent weeks. No changes to curriculum are planned or supported by the Board regarding Critical Race Theory or sex education.
District and school staff will receive training in diversity, equity and cultural competency prior to the start of the 2021-22 school year as required by a new state law. This training will be provided by local experts in diversity, equity and inclusion and developed with district staff to ensure it meets state requirements, addresses the needs of local students and responsive to community values.
A state law passed two years ago updated learning standards for sex education as part of a school district’s health curriculum. The district’s currently adopted curriculum and materials already meet that new standard.