DIVERSITY IN OUR SCHOOLS
First and foremost, our hearts are heavy from the weight of the violent behavior that is negatively impacting our fellow citizens of this great country. Like many across our nation, we are devastated and hurting from these senseless actions. The recent events in our country are a reminder of the obstacles many still face due to racism and discrimination. We condemn this behavior and violent acts. We are committed to the systemic change to transform social inequality, continue building bridges, and engage in deep conversations about race, culture, and justice.
Spring Grove Area School District’s Diversity Statement reads that we will treat all people with equality, dignity, and respect; we will educate all students to understand, accept, and value all members of the world community; and we invite the community at large to join with us in support of this mission.
Treating EVERYONE with respect is at the core of the District’s mission of providing a safe and engaging learning environment that will challenge and motivate all students to reach their full potential. The District respects, and teaches our students to respect, each other and our individual differences. These differences include race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, socio-economic status, learning styles, abilities, age, etc.
In partnership with our students, families, businesses, and community organizations, we must do all we can to ensure the values of respect, equity, diversity, and inclusion are instilled in our students, our schools, and our community. Our schools and our community should be a safe space for ALL students. With this mission in mind, the Spring Grove Area School District has instituted many initiatives to help teach our students to be agents of change, to teach tolerance, to help break down barriers, and to create opportunities for each other. Some of those initiatives are listed below.
Please know that the Spring Grove Area School District will NOT tolerate any form of racism, hate speech, or discrimination. The District has adopted and enforces policies prohibiting discrimination, harassment, and bullying. Those policies contain a complaint procedure available to all students and staff. Students are encouraged to notify a district staff member or another trusted adult if they are experiencing, or know of another student who is experiencing, any form of discrimination or hate.
EVERY incident that is reported to us is taken very seriously and is addressed and fully investigated by school officials in conjunction with a School Resource Officer. Students found in violation of the code of student conduct or Board policy will face strict student disciplinary repercussions, as well as potential legal consequences. When school is not in session, the District encourages parents/guardians to contact the police should their student be experiencing any type of harassment or cyber-bullying.
Spring Grove Area School District will continue to work in partnership with staff, students, families, and the community to make our schools safe for ALL. We are a better school district and community because of our diversity and differences. We honor our Diversity Statement every day and will continue to strive for a school environment and community where every person is safe, included, and celebrated.
Thank you for your partnership and commitment in creating a better world for our students and for each other.
Resources for Talking With Child(ren) About Race, Racism, Equality, & Tolerance
There are many helpful resources available online to help families with this important topic. Here are a few to get started:
- Talking to kids about discrimination, American Psychological Association
- Children’s books to support conversations on race, racism, and resistance
- National Museum of African American History and Culture Releases “Talking About Race” Web Portal
SPRING GROVE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT DIVERSITY INITIATIVES & PROGRAMS
Spring Grove Area School District hosts an annual Diversity Festival to showcase and celebrate the diversity represented in our community. The entire community is invited to attend the festival to learn from each other and our differences, to experience an inclusive and welcoming environment, and to help break down barriers in our society. Each year, a keynote speaker addresses the attendees to share personal experiences, challenges, and success. The District has been honored to host several notable keynote speakers: Dr. Pamela Gunter-Smith, President of York College; Mr. Adnan Pasic, VP & Sr. Commercial Loan Officer/Lancaster Market Executive with ACNB Bank; U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Jonathan A. Yuen; Mr. Darrien Davenport, Executive Director of Multicultural Engagement at Gettysburg College.
Spring Grove Area Intermediate School Cultural Day
Sixth-grade students at Spring Grove Area Intermediate School are immersed in presentations where they learn about the traditions, foods, holidays, etc. of different cultures. After the presentations, students are invited to try new foods from various cultures represented in the program.
Artist in Residency
Mr. Jason Reed, founder of REACH!, has been an Artist in Residency at Spring Grove Area High School over the last two years. The purpose of the program is to promote self-discipline, respect for others, and respect for yourself. Mr. Reed was recently awarded the YMCA Racial Justice Award.
Character Education Classes
Spring Grove Area High School counselors in conjunction with other staff members develop and teach Character Education classes approximately twice a month to all high school students. The various topics include, but are not limited to, diversity acceptance, mental wellness, connecting with others, drug prevention, safe driving, after high school planning, etc.
Leadership Diversity Training from Dr. Monea Abdul-Majeed, Racial Justice Coordinator
The District Leadership Team and various staff members have had multiple opportunities to meet with, and learn from, Dr. Monea Abdul-Majeed, the Racial Justice Coordinator for YWCA York. Dr. Abdul-Majeed presented on topics, such as implicit bias and inclusion. She has also helped the District continue its diversity planning.
Professional Development by Stock and Leader
District leadership and staff members have participated in several diversity seminars and trainings offered by Stock and Leader.
Leadership for Diverse Schools
Spring Grove Area School District has participated in the Leadership York: Leadership for Diverse Schools program. Educators learn to interact more effectively with diverse populations of students, parents, and colleagues. The program fosters understanding, acceptance, and tolerance so the participants can be leaders in helping to build culturally proficient communities within their districts.
York County Diversity Advisory Council
Spring Grove Area School District participates and is represented on the York County Diversity Advisory Council to facilitate communication between community members and diverse populations and addresses matters related to diversity that are important to everyone.
Spring Grove Area High School S.P.I.R.I.T. (Student Problem Identification and Resolution of Issues Together) Council
School officials and student leaders work together in an inclusive environment to delve into various student issues affecting the student population. Through cooperative and open discussion, they discuss ways to resolve important and sensitive matters to help keep the school environment a positive and safe learning space.
The word Aevidum means "I've got your back." The Aevidum club at Spring Grove Area High School works to create a school climate where students feel accepted, appreciated, acknowledged, and cared for. The club works to create a place where teachers, students, and staff embrace these values and support each other every day. Aevidum sees the importance of starting and continuing conversations about mental health and suicide prevention.
Friends and Fun Day
The Friends and Fun Festival club is for students that are interested in working with special needs students from Spring Grove High School as well as neighboring schools. The FFF is a field day type event that provides a fun and social experience for diverse students in the Autistic Support and Multiple Disabilities classrooms in Spring Grove Area School District.
The goal of the Gay-Straight Alliance at Spring Grove High School is to promote a safe community for every person regardless of his/her sexual preference or gender identity. Members of the GSA will work to increase awareness while educating the social community in a frank but respectful manner. The GSA is a creative and respectful outlet in which to understand all viewpoints. Most importantly, the GSA is a fun and exciting group in which to reduce social stigmas and lead by example.
Staff members from across the District participate in professional development activities and trainings regarding diversity and inclusion. The committee discusses areas of concern and how the District can continue to embrace and improve upon building understanding and acceptance among staff and students. Members of the committee write and revise the Building Level Diversity Action Plans each year.
WEB (Where Everyone Belongs)
WEB is a middle school orientation and transition program that welcomes 7th graders and makes them feel comfortable throughout the first year of their middle school experience. WEB also acts as an anti-bullying program for our school by providing it with a cadre of student leaders who look for bullying behavior and help stop it. WEB gives older students permission to be aware of and report any negative behavior they see, creating a safer school for everybody.
Link Crew is a transition program that provides social and academic support throughout the year for ninth-grade students. This program utilizes upper-classmen as leaders, motivators, role models, and teachers. Selected leaders make a commitment to attend and actively participate in multiple training sessions as well as social events. They will also commit to working with and building relationships with a selected group of freshmen throughout the year.
Project Team for grades K - 6 is a comprehensive bullying prevention/social and emotional school-wide program. Project TEAM aims to improve our schools’ climate and culture, making sure all students feel connected and part of the team. Students learn the six foundations of Project TEAM: Helping Others, Positive Change, Anti-Bullying, Problem Solving, Resiliency, and Leadership. Students will gain an understanding of what the foundations are, why they are important, and how to implement them in their lives in and out of school.
YWCA Leadership Summit: Dialogues in Race
Five Spring Grove Area High School students had the opportunity to attend the YWCA York Leadership Summit in the fall of 2019, where students gathered in a supportive and structured environment to have dialogues about race. The students were able to speak freely about their experiences dealing with race while encouraging cultural competency, acceptance, and inclusivity within schools.