District Newsletter

June 10, 2021

Preparing a Path for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
During the 2020-21 school year, staff, students, parents, and community members joined together to advance the District’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts. All of the accomplishments this year are a direct result of a collaborative and cohesive effort to cultivate a district-wide culture of inclusion and respect for all individuals. 

Notably this year, the District established a DEI Task Force to set and strategically accomplish goals with measurable action steps. Included in that work was the development of language on DEI for the Board of Education to consider incorporating into future district policies and the preparation for a district-wide equity audit. 

Student voices have been and will continue to be instrumental in guiding the District’s work as well. In fact, student input and feedback were instrumental in the completion of a Grade 6-12 English Language Arts curriculum audit. BHS students also participated in the Student Leadership Research Collaborative, led by Dr. Keith Bell through OSU. Students explored and shared their findings with the administration on the topics of belonging and equitable access to resources. 

Staff members engaged in meaningful conversations through professional development. The District-Wide School Climate Committee (DWSCC) facilitated monthly professional development in each school and staff participated in a district book read of “So You Want to Talk About Race.” The District’s leadership team also participated in Implicit Bias training through the Kirwan Institute.

The Bexley Education Foundation, the Bexley Minority Parent Alliance, and other community and non-profit organizations have also been invested and integral partners in the District’s continued work. For example, Harper’s Corner donated hundreds of books featuring diverse authors, characters, and families to Bexley elementary libraries. Also this year, Bryan Drewry (BMPA) and Jana Clarke (Literacy Coach) were awarded a BEF grant to fund $8,550 for multicultural books for our fourth and fifth-grade classrooms. 

Effective DEI work cannot happen without community participation and involvement. This year, Parent Institute sessions were devoted to topics of equity, implicit bias, microaggressions, and white privilege. The District is also partnering with the Central Ohio Equity Network and Columbus Community Coalition for DEI to continue to learn from others in the community and share ideas.

As the District looks ahead to continuing DEI initiatives in the new school year and beyond, Bexley City Schools is beginning the interview process with individuals interested in serving as the Leader of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Following a screening process the week of June 7, selected candidates will participate in interviews with students, faculty and staff, and the community. 
 
The Leader of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will continue to strategically address cultivating a culture of DEI in Bexley City Schools. Part of their work will include: overseeing the Equity Audit; leading the DEI Task Force; assisting the formation of additional student groups and clubs; and implementing a Social Studies Curriculum Review.
 
This individual will also support the Ohio Department of Education grant to address Diversifying the Education Profession in partnership with the BMPA and BEF. In addition, this position will be tasked with partnering with instructional coaches to imbed culturally responsive instructional strategies in the classroom and collaborate with staff on ongoing professional development.
 
As we prepare for our interviews with candidates, we are seeking questions for consideration from our Bexley community. If you would like to submit a question for our team to consider, please send it to: https://forms.gle/1MbTSYPKfDw4GJGVA. Thank you for your continued support of the District’s efforts to create and nurture a safe, welcoming, and equitable learning environment for all. 

Director of Employee Relations and Human Resources
Bexley City School District is delighted to announce that Montrose Elementary Principal Melissa Klosterman-Lando was recommended to the Board to become our Employee Relations Director.

This is a bittersweet moment for Ms. Klosterman-Lando as she has done a tremendous job of creating positive, impactful relationships with the students, staff, and community during her two years at Montrose Elementary School. However, she says she looks forward to the opportunity to continue to grow with Bexley Schools and help lead the District into areas of opportunity with collaborative and productive working relationships.

The Employee Relations Director is the chief human resources officer and serves as an advocate regarding benefits, policies, and practices that have a positive impact on employees. The position was approved by the Board during a special meeting on May 24. The Board approved Ms. Klosterman-Lando to the position during the June 8 regular meeting.

The District will be posting the opening for Montrose Elementary Principal tomorrow, June 3, and it will remain open until Sunday, June 13. We invite our Montrose families and students to be involved in the screening process of finding our new Montrose Principal. A message with more details on how to participate in the process was sent out Wednesday, June 9.

We plan to select the finalist by Friday, June 18, who will then be recommended to the Board for their approval at a previously scheduled special board meeting on Tuesday, June 29.

Board of Education Meeting
The Bexley Schools Board of Education met for a regular board meeting on Tuesday, June 8. You can watch a recording of the meeting below.