HPS Diversity FAQ's
Does the district teach Critical Race Theory?
Critical Race Theory is not a part of our curriculum. Hudsonville Public Schools has always been guided by our commitment to the academic, social and emotional growth of our students. Our goal as educators, and as a part of the Hudsonville community, is to ensure all our students feel welcome, seen, and supported to the fullest extent. While Critical Race Theory is not taught in the district, we know students will continue to ask important questions related to these topics. In alignment with our guiding principles, we believe it is important to facilitate fact-based conversations in appropriate academic settings with our students regarding both current and historical events, helping support their interest in learning and understanding of their world.
Will the community be able to review any curriculum before the school year starts so that any concerns can be addressed?
As previously mentioned, Critical Race Theory is not currently a part of our curriculum and it is not being considered for the future. The district does have an established process to recommend, review and adopt any new curriculum. Various groups participate in the process, including members of the community. Once the curriculum is selected and approved by the district, it is available for parents to review at their child’s building.
Does the focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging have something to do with Critical Race Theory?
No, our dedication to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging has nothing to do with Critical Race Theory. Rather, it’s an acknowledgment that every student is unique – and the better we understand our students and their needs, the better we can help them learn and grow. It is the goal of HPS to ensure that each and every student has an opportunity to learn and succeed in a safe and supportive learning environment.
What can I do to support my child (or other children) if they experience harassment, bullying, or are otherwise marginalized? What is the district doing to address this?
The first step would be to reach out to your child's teacher, school counselor, or building principal. At HPS, we are committed to ensuring all of our students feel welcome and supported. The district has an anti-bullying policy and procedure, as well as an anti-harassment policy. When bullying, racial slurs, harmful actions, etc., are reported to the administration, they are investigated and addressed. Students are invited to participate in restorative conversations and individual plans are created to protect impacted students. Additionally, we would encourage continued conversation surrounding these issues throughout the community, as these issues are not specific to HPS or any school system across the country. Only by working together will we be able to ensure a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for our children.
How will HPS ensure diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging doesn’t turn into Critical Race Theory?
Our dedication to the guiding principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is based on the fact that we as a school district and community are committed to ensuring everyone in our schools feels safe, welcome and supported. Critical Race Theory is simply a specific area of academic study, which we do not teach, and is not part of our dedication to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging principles.
Is the focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging an admission that HPS is racist, exclusive, and exclusionary?
No. Like you, we are proud of Hudsonville Public Schools and all the district has to offer – academically and culturally. However, we understand that there is always room to grow and get better, and this initiative is intended to help us discover areas and ways in which we can improve our policies to ensure each and every student feels welcome and supported.
Has the Board/district staff undergone any diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging training?
Much like it does every summer and school year, the district engages in professional development to further strengthen the services provided to its students. The sole purpose of the diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging training is to ensure that all students feel welcome and secure in a warm and engaging learning environment.
How will the district’s policies promote unity when some students disagree with the views that are represented?
Our teachers are dedicated to promoting appropriate, fact-based discussions regarding both current and historical events, helping them explore their desire to learn. When students are exposed to ideas or experiences that are unfamiliar to them, it helps them grow as students and make better sense of their world. Respectful disagreements and discussions in appropriate settings have always been part of a healthy educational environment.
Is the district funding from the state being threatened if they do not include DEIB?
Our decision to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging principles has nothing to do with funding from the state. It is simply a demonstration of our dedication to ensuring all students, no matter their background, feel welcome and supported in our schools.
What data or research have been used to determine this is all necessary?
Student experiences and safety are the primary reason for addressing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in this strategic plan. When students feel harassed, unwelcome, or belittled, research tells us that they are more at-risk for academic decline or failure and more likely to experience mental health issues in and outside of school. Understanding what creates these experiences is a foundational part of working to address actions and words that are racially-motivated or stemming from a lack of understanding of cultural differences. For those reasons, it is important to do all we can to ensure we are promoting understanding among both our student population and staff.