GCCS’ Commitment to Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and Social Justice

On this day, our country recognizes Juneteeth to celebrate the day that slavery ended in our country.  In the spirit of recognizing racial injustices, we want to tell you about the work our school has been focused on and will continue to commit to on a deeper level during the 2020-21 school year:

Intentional Integration 

We will continue to recruit new voices from Rochester to join our GCCS community so that our students, staff, and Board of Trustees all reflect our diverse community.  We continue to make substantial progress in this area, but our work is not done! We will continue to enhance our recruitment strategies moving forward.

Intentional Inclusion

Conversations and actions will continue among our staff, Board of Trustees, Family Association, and Diversity Committee to discuss how we are ensuring that all members of our community feel welcome and that they belong at GCCS.  This includes a close examination of our social-emotional curriculum and discipline policies to reflect our restorative practices.  This year, sixth grade focused their year-long expedition on this work and made recommendations to the GCCS Board of Trustees to revise the Code of Conduct.  The Board officially accepted their recommendations at the June 10th meeting and we are working hard to make these revisions for the 2020-2021 school year.  One of their recommendations was to hire a Restorative Practices Coach.  We heard them and have hired Kyle Skovira to join our staff!  He has worked with RCSD for several years as a teacher and leader in the district’s restorative work.  He will be working alongside Lauren Grimm, our Social Worker, this year.

Intentional Instruction

The GCCS staff is committed to examine our curriculum and instructional practices to ensure we always have equity and social justice at the heart of everything we do.  This year, the majority of the staff’s Professional Development focused on equity by analyzing student achievement data, receiving training in Culturally Responsive Teaching, and revising our Expedition plans to include multiple perspectives.  Before the COVID closure, our staff began book clubs to discuss equity and racial bias.  The staff is committing to continuing this important work next year and many are engaging in several Professional Development and self-reflection opportunities this summer.

Please click here to read a letter written to GCCS families in response to recent events in Rochester and across America in the fight for racial equity on May 31st, 2020.