College Place Sch. Dist.
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News Release
College Place School District Responds to Latino Community Concerns - 06/07/18

College Place, WA -- On Wednesday, May 30, students, parents and community members gathered to voice their concerns at College Place High School regarding unfair treatment. This meeting followed a letter the District received from the parent alliance on May 18, 2018 requesting a meeting with the College Place Superintendent Tim Payne and high school Principal Kirk Jameson.

The District received notification today of a meeting that took place yesterday evening (June 6) at Valle Lindo in which parents of students expressed concerns of discrimination at Davis Elementary School. College Place District staff was not invited to attend the June 6 meeting.

The District takes such concerns very seriously and has already taken several steps to begin addressing these allegations. College Place Public Schools has in place Policy and Procedure 3210 – Nondiscrimination that outlines the process to follow in the event of non-compliance. In addition, Policy and Procedure 4220 Complaints Concerning Staff or Programs also provides a clear process for such grievances. Superintendent Tim Payne acts as the District Compliance Officer.

Both the District office and College Place High School have begun work toward resolving these concerns, as promised by Superintendent Payne at the May 30 meeting. The key issues identified by attendees on May 30, along with the District’s next steps, are outlined as follows:

Equity in athletics: The District will continue to follow Board Policy and Procedure 3210 Non-discrimination. It has also been brought to the Athletic Department’s attention and they will make every effort to ensure equality across all sports.

Wearing of rosaries and cultural significant items:  We are very appreciative to the parents to have educated the District on specific cultural practices with respect to rosaries. We will continue to learn about cultural differences and how they interact with our dress code. These items will be allowed for students to wear as long as there is no disruption in the educational process.

Fairness in dress code infractions: Mr. Payne addressed the staff at College Place High School on Friday June 1st stating that fairness, respect and dignity with our students and each other is of the upmost importance. We must ensure that all students are treated fairly and come to our schools each day feeling welcome and open to receive the education that we provide and that they deserve.

More bilingual staff at CPPS:  Mr. Payne and the Human Resources Department will be reviewing all current job postings and adding bilingual preferred as relevant to positions. Mr. Payne noted, “We are currently seeking three positions here at College Place School District and would be thrilled to have bilingual applicants.”

Native Languages spoken in school hallways without consequence:  Effective immediately, students in the District will be allowed to speak their native language without consequence during social times at school so long as the conversation is respectful and does not compromise school safety.

Latino Club at CPHS:  Clubs are allowed at CPHS according to Board Policy and Procedure 2153 Non curriculum-related student groups. Both the Policy and Procedure are posted on the District and College Place High School Website.

Policies in question:  Board Policy 4210 – Regulation of Dangerous Weapons on School Premises will be brought before the Board of Directors for discussion at the June 26, 2018 School Board Meeting to be held at Davis Elementary School at 7:00 pm.

Student Handbook translated into Spanish:  The College Place High School Handbook, Spanish version, will be published for the 2018-2019 school year.

Parent, Student, Community Advisory Group:  The District has scheduled the first meeting for the Advisory Group of parents, students, community and staff. The meeting will be held on June 28, 2018. The District has hired a third party consultant, Dr. Bill Jordan, of West Coast Consulting, to moderate this meeting. The District will also provide translation services and assistive listening devices through our District Translator, Melito Ramirez.

Cultural Responsiveness Training:  The District Administrative team (superintendent, principals, assistant principals and directors of programs) will be attending a Cultural Responsive Training session on Thursday, June 29, 2018. The training will be led by the Educational Service District 123 out of Pasco, WA. The School Board will not be attending this training as misreported in the May 31 Union Bulletin article.

College Place Public Schools wishes to assure the community that we listen to our community’s concerns, and take measures to address issues at a systemic level and in a timely manner.

“We deeply appreciate the students and parents who brought these concerns to us. We believe our work together will make College Place Public Schools better for all,” stated Payne. “As such, the changes I promised at the meeting will be addressed and I welcome continued input and communication.”

College Place Public Schools Board of Directors stated, “We understand that we live in a diverse community and need to support all of our kids regardless of their ethnicity, cultural background, gender, or gender identity. Diversity is what has made our country and local community a great place to live. We will continue to work diligently with our community to make our schools both safe and welcoming to each student. The Board of Directors is committed to working with our families, Superintendent Payne, our school administrators, and staff to ensure that all students feel heard and supported and that all District policies are applied in a fair and equitable manner across the student body."