Superintendent's Message to the Community
JUNE 2, 2020 - As a lifelong Minnesotan and a kid who grew up in the City of St. Paul, I am struggling mightily with the events of the past week. I am writing to you with overwhelming feelings of sadness, anger and disillusionment following the tragic killing of George Floyd. The past week is a stark reminder that we have a lot more work to do in our society. We must accelerate our examination of our practices and remove obstacles that contribute to systemic inequities. We need to find and value the commonality of our humanity. We need to listen to and get to know those who are different from ourselves, and we need to stamp out every form of racism that continues to harm our country.
The mission statement of Shakopee Public Schools is, “Shakopee Schools, in partnership with our community, will educate lifelong learners to succeed in a diverse world”. I often use a phrase that I think personalizes our district’s mission statement. The phrase is “every kid is my kid”. It describes my desire for each and every student who walks through the doors of our school buildings in Shakopee to feel that he/she belongs to part of a true community. The type of community in which our diversity doesn’t divide us, but makes us united and stronger as a group. The kind of community that values diversity and sees it as an asset and building block for an amazing community of learners. Too often students of color don’t feel connectedness and sense of belonging in our schools. I know we are working to reach the goal where “every kid is my kid”, and each and every kid feels connectedness and a sense of belonging, but we need to work harder and with a greater sense of urgency to make this desire a reality.
On behalf of the district leadership team, School Board, and Shakopee Public Schools I express my deepest condolences to the family of George Floyd. I also share my deepest sympathy and support for all those in our community, Minneapolis, the Twin Cities, and across the nation who are suffering and in pain.
I know recent events, Mr. Floyd’s death and the tremendous levels of civil unrest, may have a very real impact on children in our community. As our students have questions or desire a discussion, here are a few resources you might find helpful.
- How to Talk About Traumatic Events and Tragedies
- Resources on Trauma for Caregivers and Families
- Resources to help communities in the wake of tragic events
- How to Talk to Kids About Difficult Subjects
- Talking to Children About Violence
- Discussing Traumatic Events With Youth
This has been a very emotional last few days as we end an already uniquely challenging school year. As a school community, I know we will continue to work together for the benefit of each of our students and each other. Thank you for your ongoing support of Shakopee Public Schools. Thank you for your partnership as we seek peace and continue to work collaboratively to build a stronger community that is inclusive of all and truly values diversity as an asset.
Mike Redmond, Ed.D | Superintendent