District’s Revised Mission Statement Angers Kutztown Parents

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The Kutztown School Board approved adoption of the district’s revised mission and vision statements at its April 4 meeting.

Ahead of the vote, an angry parent claimed the district had abdicated its role as an educator in favor of critical race theory.

The district’s new mission statement states “to inspire learners to grow as empowered contributors to the global community”, while the vision statement reads “to maximize potential, embrace change, create the future”.

During public comments, Jennifer Kaufinger, Kutztown, spoke against the revised statements.

“I personally just want to thank you for putting in writing that you have abdicated your role as educator of our children, in favor of CRT, DEI and SEL edicts,” Kaufinger said, referring to critical theory. of race; diversity, equity and inclusion; and social-emotional learning.

Kaufinger said she was quoting her daughter, saying this review was for her “sap, stupid and a billion other horrible things.”

“She’s one of your students, so she’s, you know, someone you’re supposed to be working for here,” the mother said. “You have to educate our children; that’s what you have to do. Everything else will fall into place if you just start doing it again.

His comments received brief applause from the audience.

Later, during board comments before the vote, board member Jason B. Koch pointed out that shared educational values ​​had been added to the statement policy that was on the agenda for a second reading and approval. of adoption.

The shared educational values ​​read as follows: As students, staff, administration, parents and community, we believe that:

• all students can learn; lifelong learning is essential.

• individuals must have a purpose and believe in their own potential for excellence.

• Collaboration between home, school district and community has a positive impact on learning.

• critical thinking and the acquisition and application of knowledge are the keys to success.

• diversity is valued and individuality is celebrated.

• individuals are responsible for their choices and responsible for their actions.

• Healthy lifestyle choices are imperative for optimal development.

• A safe and interactive environment is essential.

• Ethical decision making is expected.

“The next time a stakeholder group comes together, I think we can do a better job with the mission statement itself, but I’m glad we included shared values,” Koch said.

A board member asked how often the statement can be changed.

“There is no specific timetable for modifying these elements,” Superintendent Christian Temchatin said. “It’s the overall plan, the timeline sort of dictates it, but although it’s part of the process, the district can initiate a process at any time.”

Again, the revised statement received further comments later in the meeting after the vote in off-program public comments, Joan Baldwin of Kutztown spoke about the shared values ​​added to the policy.

“I think it’s great,” Baldwin said.

The revised mission statement policy can be viewed via a link on the April 4 Board Meeting Agenda posted on the school district’s website, https://www.kasd.org/ .

In another matter, the council unanimously approved a $250 donation to the Kutztown Fire Company in appreciation for their donation of time and equipment to the district.

Prior to the vote, the recommended donation amount was $150. Noting the cost of fire equipment, council member Dennis Ritter encouraged council to donate a little more, suggesting $250.

“$150 seems very minimalistic and I know for a public institution, but if they were to come in here and fight a fire for us, and they donate work to our stadium’s light cycle,” Ritter said. “We’ve been doing this for an eternity I think and we’d like to see this grow.”

“It’s obviously a relatively nominal increase, but does it create any problems if we were to increase that?” asked board chairman Randy Burch.

Temchatin said no.

“Firefighters are great partners for us who attend all kinds of events, starting with football games and other events throughout the year, so increasing to $250, I don’t think, causes problems,” Temchatin said.

The Policy & Curriculum Committee meets on April 11 at 6 p.m. followed by the Facilities & Extracurricular Committee at 7 p.m. The next council meeting is scheduled for April 19 at 7:30 p.m. All meetings will be held at the college and via Zoom.


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