Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

“Our children’s character matters a lot to me. I want them to know right from wrong and to do the right thing even when it is not the easy thing to do. And, if they falter, I want our children to be a part of a school community which supports their growth and empowers them to reflect and grow from their mistakes.”

“I want them to be [socially just] and inclusive. I want them to appreciate those who serve them and those whom they serve. Our schools must be set up for every child to succeed in an emotionally and physically safe environment. And, our staff must value and model service. We, adults, must practice physical, mental, and emotional safety.”

--Dr. Matt Strine, Superintendent, South Middleton School District


Equity Statement

The Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Steering Committee participated in the development of this equity statement, which will be the catalyst for developing a strategic equity policy that will be fully incorporated into the forthcoming 2021-2024 comprehensive plan. 

As our mission  states, South Middleton School District (SMSD) is committed to academic excellence by providing a “challenging education in a safe, supportive environment that empowers all students to become lifelong learners and productive, respectful citizens of our diverse and changing world.”  To this end, SMSD is dedicated to ensuring that every student develops their own agency and social responsibility by recognizing, naming, and critically interrogating the world to make sense of injustice in order to build a better world.  Such identity, skill, and intellectual development must be cultivated within safe and supportive learning environments that value the humanity of its students, staff, families, and community by ensuring that every student has equitable access to the resources they need to thrive.  Central to this commitment is justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI).

Under the leadership of Dr. Strine, SMSD will embark on a new comprehensive planning process that will ensure equity is foundational to the shared values of our three-to-five-year strategic action plan for JEDI.  To make certain this work is intentional and implemented with fidelity, the JEDI Steering Committee, which was established in September 2020, will assist in examining where we stand as a district and develop plans to identify opportunities, priorities, and updated goals regarding equity by modeling data-driven assessment, reflection, and continuous improvement.  Moreover, we believe these responsibilities for learning and advancing JEDI belong to each member of the SMSD community, as a district-wide approach helps solidify equity as the foundation of all that we do.

Our aim is to develop JEDI practices into a comprehensive, defined framework with clear system-wide actions and measurable results that lead to all students thriving, regardless of their educational classification, race, class, gender, national origin, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, language, or physical appearance.  As such, we recognize that these efforts must include the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Equity Pillars of Practice, which include: General Equity Practices, Self-Awareness, Data Practices, Family/Community Engagement, Academic Equity, and Disciplinary Equity within the spheres of our district, schools, classrooms, and each individual.  Through these pillars, we seek to build a better, just, and transformative community for all of our students, families, and staff.

To learn more, please explore the navigation to the left, which include resources and information about specific steps SMSD is taking to identify and correct inequitable practices.