Superintendent’s Statement on Juneteenth

This week public schools across New York State will be closed on Wednesday, June 19, in recognition of the Juneteenth Holiday. On June 19, 1865, more than two years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, enslaved Black Americans living in the confederate-controlled territory of Texas were informed of their freedom by General Gordon Granger and some 2000 Union troops. During the nearly 160 years that have followed, Americans have continued to struggle with racism and other forms of discrimination. These challenges undermine the principles of equity and justice for all individuals. As Dr. Martin Luther King wrote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”   

The Scotia-Glenville School District’s Mission states that we are committed to providing an environment which allows students to realize their full potential while meeting each one’s particular needs. In our schools, we are striving to create an environment that is equitable and welcoming to all students, staff, and our community. To accomplish this mission, we recognize the need for a concerted district-wide effort to ensure that our values of equity and justice for all permeate every level of our school district. To that end we have established two committees. 

The first committee is the Superintendent’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, led by Superintendent Susan Swartz and our partners from Tangible Development. The primary goal of this group, which will be comprised of staff, students, parents, and community members, will be to serve as advisors to the superintendent regarding the district’s work to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion for all members of the Scotia-Glenville school community. 

The second committee is the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Planning Work Group, being led by Mr. Rick Arket, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, and our partners from Tangible Development. The committee, made up of staff, students, parents, and community members, primary focus will be creating a draft DEI strategic plan that is reflected in every aspect of the school district and is adopted by the Board of Education. 

As we recognize the Juneteenth Holiday, we take this opportunity to seek your participation with us in our effort to eradicate all forms of discrimination and build a more equitable future for our Scotia-Glenville community. Addressing all forms of discrimination requires a committed effort from students, educators, and the community to promote inclusivity, respect diversity, and ensure that every student has the opportunity to succeed in a safe and supportive environment. By fostering open dialogue and implementing recommendations emerging from our work groups, the Scotia-Glenville School District can work towards eradicating all forms of discrimination. The district’s goal is to build a more equitable future for all students and a welcoming environment for the community. 

Thank you, 

Susan M. Swartz, Superintendent