District unveils diversity, equity and inclusion statement

A message that reflects Fayetteville-Manlius School District’s commitment to expanding its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices is now part of the district’s overarching mission and vision statements.

Following months of development, the district DEI statement was adopted by F-M Board of Education members at their regularly-scheduled Sept. 13 meeting. It strives to highlight the district’s core values and promotes a positive environment that embraces diversity, celebrates differences and pursues equity for all.

F-M’s DEI statement is:

The Fayetteville-Manlius Central School District is committed to creating a collaborative learning environment where all members feel included, respected, valued, and connected by affirming individual identities, fostering relationships, and recognizing diversity as an asset for teaching and learning.

“It’s our stepping off point,” Superintendent Craig J. Tice said. “The statement will serve as a foundation for the ways in which we as a district will tackle our obligation to create and sustain a safe, nurturing, and an engaging learning environment for ALL children.”

The statement will be on display throughout the district, including on its website. 

“Differences build our culture and connect us,” he said. “As educators, we are responsible for preparing our students in their core academic areas so they become contributing members of our society, but it is also incumbent upon us to ensure that we are graduating critical thinkers of strong character who are compassionate and empathetic.”

The statement is one of several DEI initiatives the district has been working on, according to Tice. There’s still more work to be done, he said.

Last spring, the New York State Board of Regents launched an initiative to advance DEI in New York state schools that is based upon the NYSED’s Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework (CR-SE).

The Board of Regents released the draft CR-SE framework along with their own policy statement, an organizational road map designed to involve families and community members in the DEI process, a series of six executive summary informational briefs to be shared with stakeholders, and a call to action for all schools to develop policies that advance DEI.