"Some of the reason we're here, quite frankly, is a knee-jerk reaction to what happened with the state, to Great Hearts, and to the way we acted," said District 8 Representative Michael Hayes. "We can't make that rush the process."
"We need to move forward on this thing as quickly as we possibly can. We do not have a year. We do not have six months," argued School Board Chair Cheryl Mayes.
Board Member Anna Shepherd of District 4 added, "We need to get it right the next time. We need to absolutely get it right."
All board members feel strongly that diversity adds value to education. The school system's Vision Statement reads, in part, "different perspectives and backgrounds form the cornerstone of our strong public education system."
Discussion of a system-wide diversity plan began during a rezoning lawsuit last year. At the request of Dr. Register, a desegregation expert in the case helped put together a draft for discussion. What comes of the discussion will impact every school in the district.
"It's really about establishing a culture that we want to be recognized as that of MNPS." said Sharon Gentry of District 1.
Some topics of discussion for a diversity plan include better management of school zoning, building locations, and even staffing patterns.
The next step is to create a team of educators and community members to gather more feedback on an overall plan.