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  • Rev. Dr. Dennis S. Ritter

THE CASE FOR POLICY 809

The Kutztown Area School District is becoming a more diverse school district. Up through 2013 our district enrollment by race and ethnicity was very stable with 4-5% of our enrollment non-white and 95-96% white/caucasian. However, from 2013 until 2022 there has been a steady growth towards greater diversity. In 2013, 94.04% of the district’s enrollment was identified as white/caucasian. By 2022, the percentage of white/caucasian students decreased to 81.66%. The change was driven primarily by the growth of our Latino/Hispanic student population. This is why I worked with others to create Policy 809.


I believe that as a member of the school board it is one of my responsibilities to work with the administration and the other members of the board to ensure that all of our students have the opportunity to perform at the highest level. Educational equity is not some fanciful option, but it is an integral part of educating our children to inherit a 21st century nation and world that are constantly changing and becoming more diverse as well. While continuing to ensure the competency and quality of our hirings we need to strive for greater diversity in where we look for that next chemistry or elementary teacher and we need to be sure that our text books and classroom resources, as well as the books and resources in our libraries adequately support the needs of all of our students.


The purpose of Policy 809 is clearly stated in the opening section:


“To facilitate educational equity for all, the district shall be committed to:

  1. Promptly identifying and addressing barriers that cause achievement and/or opportunity gaps for students.

  2. Developing meaningful relationships with and among students, staff and families.

  3. Providing curriculum, instruction and assessment that is adaptive as well as responsive to - and reflective of - the student learners.

  4. Making available resources and supports necessary for each student to succeed.

  5. Establishing high expectations for each student, with all students meeting academic expectations and their full potential.

  6. Creating welcoming and safe school environments.”

Don’t believe those who say otherwise or, given the opportunity, who will work to derail this important endeavor to the detriment of our students and the well-deserved reputation of our district for educational excellence.


To ensure that the community at large has a part in this endeavor, there is an Educational Equity Committee that is comprised of district and community representatives working together to accomplish the best outcomes for all of the students entrusted to our district’s care.


Data Source: PA DOE Enrollment Data


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