School District Focuses on Implementing Core Values

By Kate Anslinger

One of the many undertakings that Interim School Superintendent Lisa Howard has on her agenda is establishing a system where core values are easily recognizable within the district.

“I’m a firm believer in core values,” said Howard, who has plans of developing a statement of inclusivity as one of those core values.

Howard wants to make it clear that all families are welcome in Winthrop public schools regardless of race, gender, class, sexuality, gender identity, and disability. Preserving diversity and anti-discrimination is amongst the many things that Howard hopes to institute in the district.  She is also working to establish a protocol to ensure that faculty members have a plan when it comes to conversing with students after or during a disaster.  Due to the state of the world today, regarding disasters and political events, Howard is hoping to put a plan in place that will give staff guidelines for talking to students and updating parents.

“I hope to have a letter to the community and our parents, that will speak about this district and the WPS commitment to inclusivity,” said Howard. “We as a district will have a very scripted reaction so we follow protocol to ensure everyone is safe. This is something that is very meaningful and important to the school district.”

If all goes as planned, a crisis team will be assembled, so that if an event does occur, the team will know exactly how to address the situation and stay in touch with the community.

“You’re going to see a lot more places popping up where people can come together as a community,” said Chair of the School Committee, Dawn Sullivan, who plans to work with leaders in the community who already have expertise in hate crimes and disasters. “It’s important that we come together and we have conversations with experts outside of Winthrop.”

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