Mankato Area Public Schools introduce new mission, vision at Equity Summit – KEYC

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — Hundreds filled the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center’s banquet hall for Mankato Area Public Schools’ first-ever Equity Summit Thursday.
District and community leaders led the night of music, food, art and conversation, all revolving around MAPS’ new equity framework, complete with a new mission and vision for the future of Mankato schools.
MAPS’ vision is that every learner will be seen for who they are inclusive of: race, national origin, home language, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, or religion. MAPS learners will experience a school environment that builds their voice and agency. Learners and families will be seen and heard. MAPS will assure that each learner has the skills to enter society with a joy for learning, a positive vision for the future and the ability to navigate the world with hope, dignity and their multiple talents.
“I think the new mission and vision really is going to guide our work in a different way. We will really be much more intentional about our work for our students who have been traditionally underserved,” said Stacy Wells, communications director at Mankato Area Public Schools.
All were invited to attend: teachers and staff, parents, community members and students — many supportive of the district’s effort to put students’ individual needs at the forefront.
“On social media and everywhere, I see a lot of discrimination against people of color or against their gender identity or sexual orientation, so that’s why I think it’s important to kind of inform everyone,” stated Eden Durenberger, a sophomore at Mankato East High School.
Superintendent Paul Peterson formally introduced MAPS’ new framework. The district’s new mission statement: MAPS is committed to working together equitably, with families and communities, so that each learner has the knowledge and skills to be successful and contributing citizens in a diverse global society.
As diversity, inclusion and equity enter conversations of school boards across the country, district leaders hope tonight’s celebration is met with enthusiasm from the Mankato community.
“I think that equity can sometimes get a bad rap, for lack of a better word. Being able to come together and be excited about this, and that it’s not bad. This is exciting. This is good. This is good for all of our learners. I think this is just going to show them and, hopefully, they can then gain some of that excitement and that energy by just being here and learning about it,” Mankato School Board member Eric Roberts explained.
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