Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)

Through authentic learning opportunities, Mason Public Schools is committed to an inclusive environment. Our students, staff, and community respectfully acknowledge and value the diverse cultures, lifestyles, experiences, perspectives, and identities of each other. 

Board of Education Resolution

Adopted on August 9, 2021

Mason Public Schools is committed to an inclusive and equitable environment where our staff, students, and parents/guardians respectfully acknowledge and value the diverse cultures, lifestyles, experiences, perspectives, and identities of each other.

WHEREAS, we stand against any language, behavior, policies, or practices that are derogatory, inflammatory, or otherwise inappropriate, that may impact the physical, emotional, and psychological safety of others. In instances where this expectation is violated, we will work to respond, to educate, and to hold ourselves accountable for the school community we want in Mason Public Schools;

WHEREAS, we recognize the value of understanding and appreciating diversity within our school community and broader society as enriching to learning, growing, and global citizenship;

WHEREAS, we are committed to investment, proactive efforts, training, and focus to provide equitable opportunities, resources and supports to all students and staff;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Mason Public Schools Board of Education condemns discrimination, harassment, and racism and stands behind our staff, administration, and the efforts of the Diversity Committee as we work to foster an inclusive educational environment where every student, staff member, parent/guardian, and community member is treated with dignity and respect.  

Update on Diversity Committee Efforts

July 13, 2021

As a school district, Mason Public Schools places strong importance on creating welcoming conditions for teaching and learning for all students and staff, which is inclusive of a respect for backgrounds, identities, and experiences. This year, the Diversity Committee has established a solid foundation for the work of the District including developing a committee mission, goals, norms as well as the 2020-22 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Implementation Plan. This plan illustrates our focus and commitment to developing an inclusive community where everyone feels safe and supported. Please find those resources on the Diversity Committee page of the District’s website.

Subcommittee work will continue throughout July and August to keep moving forward during the summer months. The full Diversity Committee will resume regular meetings near the start of the 2021-22 school year. 

The Diversity Committee is currently following the steps outlined in the DEI Implementation Plan to:

  • Increase educator and leadership knowledge, readiness and commitment to diversity, equity & inclusion.
  • Establish goals and objectives to support the District’s Strategic Plan.
  • Improve instructional strategies for educator and student learning on issues of diversity, equity & inclusion.
  • Align systems to address issues of equity District-wide.

Diversity Committee Mission

Through authentic learning opportunities, Mason Public Schools is committed to an inclusive environment. Our students, staff, and community respectfully acknowledge and value the diverse cultures, lifestyles, experiences, perspectives, and identities of each other.

Diversity Committee Goals 

  • Create a climate, culture, and learning environment reflective of a commitment to values related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. 
  • Increase readiness and implementation of initiatives focused on the representation of diverse perspectives for students, staff, and stakeholders.
  • Improve conditions for culturally responsive teaching, learning, and student experiences.
  • Invest in sustainable and scalable DEI engagement by improving institutional practices across all stakeholder roles and responsibilities.
  • Increase equitable social-emotional and educational outcomes for all students. 

MPS is eager to continue the work of focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion and look forward to your support as we grow an environment where our students, staff and community respectfully acknowledge, understand and value the diverse cultures, lifestyles, experiences, perspectives and identities of each other with a commitment to anti-discrimination and anti-racism. 

Thank you for your continued support of our diversity efforts at Mason Public Schools.

District Statement to Community

April 21, 2021

It was announced yesterday that Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd. His death was horrible and the circumstances around his death as well as others have continued to spark civil unrest across the country and within our state and community. 

Our District is home to 3,200 students and 500 employees. We must remember that a school can be a second home for students to process current events as they happen. It is a place where students can talk to their peers, their teachers and their counselors to try and make sense of the world around them. We need to come together and support each other and our young people during this time. 

Our goal at Mason Public Schools is to create an equitable and inclusive environment for all. Over the past several years, we have used our core values to hold ourselves accountable for our behaviors with one another and to define how we connect and treat each other. Our core values of compassion, integrity and respect guide us as we process what is happening across our nation and community. 

It is important that we continue our diversity, equity and inclusion work and celebrate our differences. We expect that through these efforts, Mason Public Schools will continue to examine all aspects of the student experience and support safe spaces for our students and staff. We as a nation and community must move forward with positive and intentional actions to address systemic inequities, respectfully acknowledge and value the diverse cultures, lifestyles, experiences and perspectives, and identities of each other.  

-Mason Public Schools

MPS Works with Diversity Consultant to Explore Equity and Inclusion

August 5, 2020

Maya Angelou said, “in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” Last fall, Mason Public Schools (MPS) created a committee consisting of teachers, students and community members to examine the District’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to diversity and inclusion. This spring, the committee made a recommendation to the Superintendent to hire a professional consultant that would guide the direction of the team as well as support the District’s Strategic Plan. Through a Request for Proposals (RFP) process, MPS has hired Dr. Karlin J. Tichenor of Karlin J & Associates, LLC to support its diversity and inclusion work.

Dr. Tichenor received his Doctor of Philosophy in Human Development and Family Studies with a specialization in Couple and Family Therapy from Michigan State University. Locally, he worked in the Lansing School District as the Executive Director and Associate Superintendent of School Culture, an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University, and an Adjunct Professor at Siena Heights University. Additionally, he has been the Director of Academic Intergenerationally Mentoring Program (AIM High) through the City of Lansing and the Department of University Outreach and Engagement at Michigan State University. Dr. Tichenor is currently the Director of Social Emotional Health at the Indiana Youth Institute and the Co-Founder and Senior Partner of Family Links, LLC.

With his support, MPS will establish goals, an action plan and strategic plan alignment to provide learning opportunities for the diversity committee, the District and community as a whole. MPS will focus on supporting families, programs and departments through this work.

“Mason Public Schools is committed to promoting diversity in all forms. Ensuring those from different backgrounds are represented and welcomed in our schools is important to our culture,” said Ronald Drzewicki, Ed.S., Superintendent, Mason Public Schools. “We are eager to work with Dr. Tichenor and learn more about ourselves and how we can expand our inclusion efforts and work collaboratively with those of all backgrounds to enhance our learning environment.”

We are in this Together

June 1, 2020

Dear Mason Public Schools Family,

The events including the death of George Floyd and the destruction across the country are devastating. The grief and pain are real for so many. And for the children of our community this is yet another event that can add to the already confusing and frustrating world they have had to endure over the past several months.

Our goal at Mason Public Schools is to create an environment of inclusion for all. Over the past several years, we have used our core values to define the way we connect with one another, treat each other and make ourselves accountable for our behavior with one another. Our core values of compassion and integrity can guide us as we process what is happening across our nation.

We should remember that school is more than just a textbook or online learning environment for students. It is also a place for students to process current events as they happen. A place where they can talk to their peers, their teachers and their counselors to try and make sense of the world around them. Unfortunately, we are in an environment which makes it more challenging than normal for us to work through this tragedy together.

We need to do all we can to support harmony and togetherness in our schools. Our Diversity Committee meets this Wednesday and we will discuss the current circumstances in our country and the impact it has on our students, families and our community. We want to empower this group and our families and staff as we move forward to be stronger, smarter, and safer together.

Kurt Creamer
Board President

Ronald Drzewicki, Ed.S.
Superintendent

Diversity Committee Membership

Angie Vandecar - Co-chairperson
Michael Prelesnik - Co-chairperson

Ron Drzewicki, Matt Stuard, Rick Brooks, Craig Kueffner, Lance Delbridge, Ted Berryhill, Mary Hilker, Liz Evans, Dr. Janet Alleman, Dr. Amy Lark, AmySue Hopkins, Lynn Goedert, Laura Lange, Alex Port, Mark Sundermann, Kimberly Clark, Melissa Netzel, Molly Williams, Albiona Beka, Riley Ngubeni, Summer Issawi, Rachel Foster, Jennifer Wright Schlosser, Ethan McCallum, Michael Loveless, and Noel Dolan

Email Communication 

Individuals interested in contacting the Diversity Committee may send communication to diversity@masonk12.net 

Mission Statement

Through authentic learning opportunities, Mason Public Schools is committed to an inclusive environment. Our students, staff, and community respectfully acknowledge and value the diverse cultures, lifestyles, experiences, perspectives, and identities of each other. 

Adopted: 3/11/2020

DEI Strategic Plan

Committee Goals

Goal 1: Create

Create a climate, culture, and learning environment reflective of a commitment to values related to diversity, equity, and inclusion

Goat 2: Increase

Increase readiness and implementation of initiatives focused on the representation of diverse perspectives for students, staff, and stakeholders

Goal 3: Improve

Improve conditions for culturally responsive teaching, learning, and student experiences

Goal 4: Invest

Invest in sustainable and scalable DEI engagement by improving institutional practices across all stakeholder roles and responsibilities

Goal 5: Growth

Increase equitable social-emotional and educational outcomes for all students

Committee Norms

  • Agreed Upon: Wednesday, January 15, 2020
  • Be on time, Be engaged
  • No sidebar conversations
  • Silence cell phones, limit texting/screen time
  • Assume other’s intentions are positively motivated
  • We must welcome a respectful challenge/debate and question each other- always keeping students as the focus
  • We must listen to other’s point of views, don’t shoot down ideas
  • We must be open and honest with each other
  • Be an unrelenting positive public relations person for the district
  • Always represent OUR committee and work positively
  • Be open to new ideas and understand that each person brings a different point of view on issues

Diversity Subcommittees

  • Instructional Practices and Curriculum Design
  • Educator Development and Resources 
  • Student Experience
  • District Policies, Guidelines, and Practices
  • Community Educational Resources and Communications 
  • Membership

Committee meetings will consist of a work session followed by a report out to the public at 6:45 p.m. You may join by using the link located below. 

September 22, 2021, Minutes
October 20, 2021, Minutes                 
November 11, 2021, Minutes
December 9, 2021, Minutes        
January 20, 2022, Minutes
February 17, 2022 Minutes
March 17, 2022 Minutes
April 21, 2022  Minutes
May 19, 2022 Minutes
June 16, 2022 Minutes

Contact

Craig Kueffner
Director of Student Supports